Revisiting the Rock Art at Gua Tambun, Perak, Malaysia

Noel Tan, Stephen Chia

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    Rock art is an archaeological phenomenon that occurs fairly frequently throughout Southeast Asia but is still not well understood. Such is the case for the rock art in Gua Tambun, a rock shelter containing a large collection of rock paintings in Perak, Malaysia. Despite its ‘discovery’ in 1959, few detailed studies have been conducted due to the technical difficulties of recording and interpreting rock art, which has resulted in tenuous and disputable interpretations of the Tambun rock art. This paper presents the main findings of the recent research on the rock art at Gua Tambun. Digital image recording and analysis enabled the quantification, reconstruction and re-interpretation of the rock art. Chemical analysis and replicative experiments, on the other hand, shed light on the raw materials and their method of production. The research showed that there are much more paintings than earlier thought and a reconstruction of their relative positioning spark new interpretive insights on the rock art at Gua Tambun.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationCrossing borders: selected papers from the 13th International Conference of the European Association of Southeast Asian Archaeologists, volume 1
    Editors Tjoa-Bonatz, M. L, Reinecke, A. and Bonatz, D.
    Place of PublicationSingapore
    PublisherNUS Press - National University of Singapore
    ISBN (Print)9789971696429
    Publication statusPublished - 2012


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