Niah Caves

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Niah National Park, located within Miri Division, Sarawak, Malaysia, is the site of the Niah Caves limestone cave and archeological site.

The cave is an important prehistorical site where human remains from 40,000 years ago have been found. This is the oldest recorded human settlement in east Malaysia. More recent studies published in 2006 have shown evidence of the first human activity at the Niah caves from ca. 46,000 to 34,000 years ago. Painted Cave, situated in a much smaller limestone block of its own, some 150 meters from the Great Cave block's southeastern tip, has rock paintings dated as 1,200 years old. Archeologists have claimed a much earlier date for stone tools found in the Mansuli Valley, near Lahad Datu in Sabah, but precise dating analysis has not yet been published.

Items found at Niah Cave include Pleistocene chopping tools and flakes, Neolithic axes, adzes, pottery, shell jewelry, boats, mats, then iron tools and ceramics, and glass beads dating to the Iron Age. The most famous find is the human skull dated at around 38,000 years BCE. The painted cave has paintings and wooden coffins 'death ships'.

Between 1954 and 1966, approximately 750,000 fragments of animal bones were excavated here. One of them was identified as the metacarpal bone of a young tiger.