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Bujang Valley

Kedah, Malaysia

The Bujang Valley or "Lembah Bujang" is a sprawling historical complex situated near Merbok, Kedah. Once the site of the Srivijaya Empire, an ancient Malay kingdom dating back to the first few centuries till the 12th century, it is the richest archaeological area in Malaysia.

Over the years, numerous artefacts have been uncovered in the Bujang Valley - celadons, porcelain, stoneware, clay, pottery, fragments of glass, beads and Persian ceramics - evidences that Bujang Valley was once a centre of international and entrepot trade in the region. 

More than 50 ancient Hindu or Buddhist temples, called candi, have also been unearthed. The most well-preserved of these is located in Pengkalan Bayang Merbok, which is also where the Bujang Valley Archaeological Museum is located. This museum is the first archaeology museum built in Malaysia, under the Museums and Antiquities Department.

The latest findings are ancient writings of a civilisation that existed here as early as the first century. 

Lembah Bujang was called 'Nusantara' and its strategic position was known to traders from China, India and the Middle East. They say that if you launch a boat from the Coramandel Coast of southern India and allow it to drift along with the natural currents, it would eventually wash ashore on this stretch of the Malaysian peninsula - close to Kedah Peak (Gunung Jerai) which served as a landmark and navigational aid to sailors for centuries.

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