Ancient Palaeolithic Site
© New Straits TimesUniversiti Sains Malaysia archaeology research team head Prof Dr Mokhtar Saidin (left) showing Sabah Museum director Joanna Kitingan some samples the research team had collected at the site in Kampung Lipasu, Keningau.
Kota Kinabalu: A PALAEOLITHIC site believed to be 200,000 years old has been discovered in Keningau, 138km from here.

Archaeologists claimed that the site in Kampung Lipasu in the sub-district of Bingkor could rival the Mansuli site in Lahad Datu, which is 235,000 years old.

Universiti Sains Malaysia archaeology research team head Prof Dr Mokhtar Saidin said researchers, however, had not revealed the exact age of the site said to be a location for making Palaeolithics stone tools.

Excavation began on May 9 and is expected to finish on May 29.

The team, comprising researchers from the USM Global Archeological Research Centre and the Sabah Museum Department, has discovered several artefacts, including an anvil, core stone, hammer stone, chopper and flake tools.

"We believe the Bingkor site could be older than the Mansuli site as there could be more layers beneath the present excavation site," said Mokhtar.

He said this could be an interesting find because the archaeology community initially believed that human population began on the east coast of north Borneo.

"The notion was the human population here lived in the coastal area but with the new finding, we can see that early human population began from inland."

Sabah Museum director Joanna Kitingan said the latest discovery would put Keningau on the international map as far as Palaeolithics findings were concerned.

She said the area could be turned into an archaeo-tourism site when it had been gazetted under the department.