Late Prehistoric Human Remains in Semporna

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product in stock ISBN: 978-967-461-519-2
Back to: History & Humanities
The finding of prehistoric human remains in Sabah has been scarce until the discovery of two late Metal period burial sites in Semporna between years 2002 and 2007, i.e. Melanta Tutup and Bukit Kamiri. Prior to this, only a handful of human teeth found at Melanta Tutup (Neolithic) in 2002–2003 and later in 2005 at Gua Balambangan (late Palaeolithic), an island off the northern tip of Kudat. While these teeth had provided ample information about the prehistoric people, the discoveries of two burial sites at Semporna have provided several well-preserved prehistoric human remains. They provide a glimpse into these people’s identity, living conditions and environment.

This book takes the palaeoanthropological approach on the human remains and attempts to answer some questions we have about the past populations in Semporna. Who were these people? Did they eat well? Did they suffer from any form of disease or injury? These questions are answered by studying in detail the skeletal remains of our ancestors from Semporna.


Eng Ken Khong is currently a senior lecturer at the Centre for Global Archaeological Research based at Universiti Sains Malaysia. He obtained a BSc in Forensic Science (2004), a MA in Archaeology (2009) and PhD in Biology (Leeds), specialised in archaeogenetics. He worked as a Forensic Science Officer at the Forensic Medicine Department of General Hospital Ipoh (2004–2006) and General Hospital Penang (2007–2009), where he had expansive experience in field investigation and forensic anthropology. He involved in archaeological excavations and conservation of prehistoric human remains such as Niah Cave, Sarawak (2007), Pulau Kelumpang, Perak (2008) and Kem Terendak, Melaka (2018). His research findings has been published in books, journals, conference papers, and he has also contributed to invited talks at international level. Currently, his research focuses on phylogeography profile of aboringal people in Sabah.
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