Ongoing excavation efforts in Kampung Padang Chicak, Jeneri, Sik, Kedah, has recently uncovered an ancient metal forge, according to the National Heritage Department.
In a statement, the department said the site along Sungai Muda was surveyed and mapped in 2014 before excavation works started on Jan 3 this year.
The latest discovery comprise an ancient metal forge with a 496cm diameter and 108cm in height, as well as another item with a 309cm diameter and 47cm in height, believed to have functioned as a water container.
There were also various artefacts including ceramic pieces, tools and smelted remnants found along with the two main discoveries - all evidence of functions as an ancient metal forge.
Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Mohamaddin Ketapi (photo) said the department remains committed to supporting research on the archaeological site, carried out by Universiti Sains Malaysia as the licensed researcher under Section 86 of the National Heritage Act 2005.
"I was made to understand that the department, following completion of its research on the forge, proposed to display it as part of an Archaeological Heritage Gallery set to be built at the Sungai Batu Archaeological Complex site," he said.
The latest discovery further contributes to a list of evidence on ancient metal forges along Sungai Muda, with similar discoveries made in the past in Bukit Selambau, Kuala Ketil and Jeniang.
According to the department, the forge in Kampung Padang Chicak - located the furthest north along Sungai Muda - is believed to represent a metal industry site in operations circa the first century to 13th century.
In reiterating its commitment to work with local authorities in protecting the site, the department also reminded the public to report any of their discoveries to the local district officer or heritage commissioner.