Society finds 239-year-old tomb of 19th Sultan of Kedah

ALOR SETAR: The Kedah chapter of the Malaysian Historical Society (PSMCK) has discovered four more tombs, including those of the 19th Sultan of Kedah, Sultan Muhammad Jiwa Zainal Adilin II, and his queen, Tunku Puteri Almarhum Tunku Ishak.

The tombs, PSMCK’s third big discovery this year, were found in Anak Bukit.

PSMCK chairman Wan Samsudin Wan Yusof said the society had conducted several preliminary observations on the site following the discovery of the 239-year-old tombs.

“Sultan Muhammad Jiwa ruled Kedah from 1710 until 1778 and opened two administrative cities in Kota Setar and Anak Bukit,” he told Bernama at the location.

There, Bernama saw two of the tombs, believed to be that of the royal couple, built on layers of bricks and located side by side.

Another tomb beside that of Sultan Muhammad Jiwa was believed to belong to a member of nobility, while the identity of the fourth could not be determined.

Wan Samsudin said the tombstones were devoid of writings but that PSMCK was still studying them.

The society’s researcher, Syamsyul Anuar Ismail, said according to genealogical records of the Kedah sultanate by Christopher Buyers, Sultan Muhammad Jiwa died on Sept 20, 1778 and was buried in Kota Setar. However, his grave was never found until now.

Of his four wives, only one was royalty: Tunku Puteri Almarhum Tunku Ishak, the grand-daughter of the 16th Sultan of Kedah, Sultan Ataullah Muhammad Shah.

“From my experience studying the Acheh stones, looking at the shape, type and size, the tombstones found in Anak Bukit are the largest discovered in Kedah.

“These tombstones are usually called Acheh stones, which have been imported from Acheh and sold to the nobility while the common men used wooden tombstones or river stones,” Syamsyul Anuar said.

On March 23, PSMCK discovered a tomb believed to belong to the 16th Sultan of Kedah, Sultan Ataullah Muhammad Shah II, at Bukit Pinang, about a month after the discovery of the tomb of Kedah’s 14th Sultan, Sultan Muhyiddin Mansur Shah in Kampung Chegar, Mukim Jeram, Tunjang.