Research Journal of Applied Sciences

Year: 2011
Volume: 6
Issue: 7
Page No. 473 - 478

Scientific Analysis of Ancient Bricks at Bukit Pendiat Temple (Site 17) and Pengkalan Bujang Temple (Site 23): A Comparative Study

Authors : Zuliskandar Ramli, Nik Hassan Shuhaimi Nik Abd. Rahman , Abdul Latif Samian , Suhaini Md. Noor and Mohd Ambar Yarmo

Abstract: Bukit Pendiat temple (Site 17) and Pengkalan Bujang temple (Site 23) are two temples in the Bujang valley, Kedah that used bricks as their main construction material. Based on relative dating, Bukit Pendiat temple (Site 17) was built in the 7 or 8th century AD while the Pengkalan Bujang temple (Site 23) was built in the 11 or 12th century AD. Site 17 is a temple with elements of Buddha based on the stupa structure while Site 23 is a temple with elements of Hindu based on the vimana and mandapa structures. Differences can also be seen in the size of the bricks used to build the structures of the two monuments. Based on the architectural features, it is believed that the two monuments were built by the local community of old Kedah. Therefore, this scientific study was conducted to scientifically prove the source of the raw materials used and to make comparisons between the two sites. This is based on the hypothesis made that the local community was involved in brick making by using local raw materials. It thus rejects the opinion of Quaritch-Wales based on the Colonisation Theory and supports the Indian Culture Indigenisation Theory by Nik Hassan Shuhaimi Nik Abdul Rahman. The material composition analysis involved two analysis techniques namely the X-ray Fluorescence Technique (XRF) and the X-ray Diffraction Technique (XRD) in determining the content of the major and trace elements as well as the mineral content in the ancient bricks. The results of the analysis show that the mineral content of the bricks in Site 17 consists of quartz, muscovite, microline and kaolinite while the bricks of Site 23 contain minerals such as quartz, muscovite, anorthite, orthoclase, kaolinite and minor minerals such as hydrobiotite dan biotite. Clearly there were differences in the mineral content between the two sites but the burning technique used was the same namely the open burning technique. The content of the major and trace elements in the brick samples of Site 17 and 23 is also different if comparison is made. Nevertheless, both the sites used local raw materials to produce the bricks.

How to cite this article:

Zuliskandar Ramli, Nik Hassan Shuhaimi Nik Abd. Rahman , Abdul Latif Samian , Suhaini Md. Noor and Mohd Ambar Yarmo , 2011. Scientific Analysis of Ancient Bricks at Bukit Pendiat Temple (Site 17) and Pengkalan Bujang Temple (Site 23): A Comparative Study. Research Journal of Applied Sciences, 6: 473-478.

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