Prehistoric Objects from the Tui Gold Mine near Padang Tengku

Transcription

Prehistoric Objects from the Tui Gold Mine near Padang Tengku
KP
JB 46
J
,
,
Prehistoric Objects from the Tui Gold Mine near :
Padang Tengku, Pahang
by M. W. F.
PLA'J.'ES
TWEEDlE
XI, XII
In September, 1941 Mr. F. A. Williams, mallager of the Tui
gold mine, visited the Haflles Museum and showed me a number
of objects' found in the mine, from which gold was being obtained
from alluvial deposits. The objects th emselves and the circumstances under which they were found wcre so interesting that I
gladly accepted an invitation to visit the mine and examine the
deposits that were being worked.
The section (Fig. 1) is based on a drawing made by Mr.
Williams, who is an experienced geologist. It represents in diagrammatic form the bed-rock and succession of aHu vial deposits
exposed in the mine.. 'T'he prehistoric objects discovereLl fall into
two classes, bearing qu ite distinct relations to the stratigraphical
succession.
Neolithic artefacts.
A number of these was found in the course of mining. 'They
included ordinary quadrangular adzes (Tweedie, 19-12, p. 5 .; Noone,
1941 etc.) and stone knives of the type that has come to be associated with the river Tembeling in Pahang ('l'weedie, 1942, p. 7,
pI. iii, 4) . In addition one of. th e most remarkable neolithic . artefacts e~er recorded in Malaya was obtained.
This specimen, which is fig ured on pI. XL 1, 2, is clo}trly" a
stone quoit in the process of miwulacture. , These qU9its are' fainiliai', i'£ rather uncommon, neolithic objects, and finished speci mens
have been figured by Linehan (1928, p1. 38 altd 43), Tweedi e (1942.,pI. iii, 5) and elsewhere. It has always been assumed that they
were made by drilling qut a disc oIstone, probably with the aid
of a piece of bamboo and sand. The central cores r esulting from
this process have been foun d ( EvallS, 1931p. 54.), and have been
named disques d'evidemment by the French pl'ehistorian, Mlle.
Colani.The process or manufacture IS lnade even clearer by the
Tui specimen.
It appears that a lenticular disc of stone was prepared by
flaking and ground smooth on one side. It was th en fixed, probably
by embedding' in clay or resin, with the smooth side upwards, for
drilling. The circular groove in the specimen is of precisely the
1 947] Royal AS'iatic Society.
KP
JB 46
815797
1 7 AUG 1995Perpusta,U.an Negara
MalaYsia
M. W. F. 'l'weedie
42
kind that might be expected from drilling with bamboo, alld is so
very eccentrically placed as to suggest that embedding was deep
enough to obscure the edge of the disc. It is obvious, too, that thIS
eccentr icity le,a to its being abandoned in an unfinished condition
and the exasperation of the neolithjc craftsman, when he discovered
too late that he had l?ositioned hit! drill inaccurately, can be vividly
pictured by the imaginative prehistorian.
Unfortunately Mr. Williams was not prepared to part with
this specime~l and it is probably lost. It is represented, however,
by casts in the Hafnes Museum and by the photographs reproduced
on pI. XI.
rrhe mode of occurrencc of these objects in the mine is of
interest, and.! cannot do better than quoi.e Mr. Williams' own obs~r­
vations on the section he drew ( Fig. 1): "N 0 stone implements
recovered while mining A & B. Largc yield of neolithic implements, inclu,ding two in sit1t whil e mining at layer C. Only occasional implt;irnents found in minillg D, probably carried down by
mining operations."
....:.-'
,' -
, '-
LEGEIID.
A
a:
FIG. i.
A.
RED CLAYS AIID SAIIDY CLAYS; ABOUT 5 PEET.
B.
LOOSE SAIIDS WITH ·LAYERS OF GRAVEL AIID CLAY AIID
LEAF-BEDS; ABOUT' lO FEET .
C.
OLD LAND SURFACE; SOPT CLAYS, LEAP-BEDS AIID
TREE-STUMPS IN SITU.
D.
COAR,SE BLUE-GRAY RIVER GRAVELS.
E.
LIMESTONE WITH VERY IRREGULAR SURFACE.
B = YOUlIGER ALLUVIAL.
D = OLDER ALLUVIAL.
GEOLOGICAL SECTION IN 'I'HE
DROWN FROM A SKE'rCH BY PART F.
T UI GO LD MINE,
A. WILLIAMS.
Journal lJ{alayanB1'anch [Vol. 'XX, Part I,
JOURNAL MAJ,AYAN BRANCH ROYAL ASIATIC SOC.,
'l'WEJWJE:
J>'l'eh'i::;tO'l'lC .objects
f1'on~
XX, 194:1,
Pahang.
PLATE
XI.
J01 ' HN AT, MATAYAN
BRA:KC'H ROYAl, 'A S'IA'l'T C
Soc., XX, ]941,
~--
·"TWElmm:
Preh'isiorlC Ob jecls from Pahall g.
PLATE
X11
•
PERPUSTAKAAN
NEGAAAMAlAYSIA
Prehistoric Objects from the Tui Gold Mine
.;
43
Layer 0, fifteen feet below the present surface of the ground,
clearly represents an ancient land surface, at or near a neolithic
h~bitatioll site. Neolithic artefacts have been recovered frequently
d.~l.'illg alluvial mining from considerable depths, but I am not
aware that any exact geological observation of their occurrence has
been recorded before.
Bronze objects possibly associated with ancient
gold mining.
'rhe Tui gold mine is situated' on padi land in a district which
has been inhabited or frequented for a very long period. Scrivenor
(1928, p. 14) speaks of mining by Asiatics in the neighbourhood,
and Mr. Williams spoke of having encountered the timbers of old
mining pits, wooden washing pans (dulang) and a wooden wheel.
It may well be that these are, wholly or partly, relics of the early
gold mining activities referred to by Mr. A. Rentse in his paper in
this journal (.
), and it is suggested that the 8ame may be
tru e of certain small bronze objects which were found in the course
of mining, though no definite evidence of their age is forthcoming.
A short disgression on the method or mining will explain how
these came to be recovered. The alluvium, together withe the overburden of soil, is washed down into the bottom of the mine by
hydraulic 'jets. 'The water, with sand and gravel in suspension,
is then pumped up a'verticalpipe from the, top of which it is allowed
to run down an inclined trough with transverse "riffles" designed to
arrest the particles of gold and allow other material to pass· on and
contribute to the mass of "tailings" at the 'foot of the trough. The
selective action of this apparatus is such that any small object of
fairly high specific gravity will be arrested and will turn up in the
final conc~ntrate.
A curious variety of objects is recovered in this way. At Tui
fish-hooks and sinkers and snipe-shot were frequent, together with
abundant strips of solder from tins, the rest of whose substance had
rusted away. A careful watch resulted in a number of small brorize
ornaments and oth~r artefacts being found, four of the most interesting of which are described and figured. They are:
(1)
A signet ring bearing what appear to be Ohinese characters. 'rhe legend is worn, but may be clear enough for
expert interpretation (pI. XII, I). '1'his ring was retained by th,e finder, Mr. McKenzie, assistant manager
of the mine.
.
(2)
(3)
An ornament, apparently a clasp or brooch (pI. XII, 3).
'1'he beam of a tiny balance (pI. XII, 2, 2a). In its
present 'condition (it is broken at Ol1e end across the per-
1947] Royal Asiatic Society.
1 7 AUG 1995
M~
w.
F. ' rrweedie
foration illtended for suspendin g th c pan) it is 56 nl1l1
long. Measurement from th e ful crum to t he un damagcd
end shows that its original length was 59 mm. lts
diminutive size and careful workman ship clearly show
that it was design ed to weigh small quantities of sbme
preciou s substancc, in this instance presumably gold.
l1'his specimen is preserved in the HaJ:1-1 es Musc um.
(4)
A symmetrical object of curious des ign, possibly"
part of a balance (pI. XII, 4) .
~ll so
Nothing can be said about the level at which these obj ects
occurred. Apart from the fact that t hey were found. ill an area
rich in indications of ancient mining, t heir t yp ology alon e mu st
'serve as a guide to their origin, and they are fig ured here in the
hope that some· reader with expert knowledge will recognise t heir
affinities and communi cate his opinion to t he Society.
E XPLANA'l'I ON OF PLA'l'ES
Plate XI.
eolithic stone quoit, abandoned during t he process of
manufacture.
P late XII. Bronze objects from the Tui Gold Mine, Pahang.
1. A signet ring
2. A small balance; 2a, detail of unbroken end .
. 3. A clasp or brooch
'±" An indeterminate object, perhaps p art of a balance. All enlarged, 1 to a greater extent than 2,
3 al).d 4.
/. ,
'.
,Evans', I. }{.N ., 1921. ;
1:J 1,' 'r:
t
I t,
!. : ,
Lihehail;' W., Hl28.
N oon81 H. D., 19.41.
Scrivenor, J. E., 1928.
,,,
Tweedie, M. W. F./ 1942.
, ;
I
..'
Excavation
at N.YOl)g,
l 'embelill g
JO'/J,l'nal F . .M. S.
HiveI', Paharig.
. Museums, XV,p . 51..
.
r,
Some discoveries on ' the 1'embeling,
Journal Mq,laya1'l Hmn cli, B .·A . S., .VJ,
'part 4, p. 66.
A proposed classification ,of ¥alayan
polished stone . implcments. .tdurnal
Malayan Branch, R A. S., Xl X, part
2, p: '210.
,
The Geology of th e Malayan Ore
Deposits, MacMillan and Co.
Prehistory in Malaya. J01l1"nal ' R:"A .8.,
J anmtry 1942, p. 1.
'
~ ~ .-
J owrnal Malayan 131'anch ·lVoi.
)G"{,
Pill·t l .

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