Exploring Brunei's past

An account about a school visit to a archaeological site in Brunei, which is already quite illuminating because archaeological reports from this part of the world is rare.

28 November 2006 (Borneo Bulletin) – An account about a school visit to a archaeological site in Brunei, which is already quite illuminating because archaeological reports from this part of the world is rare.

Borneo Bulletin, 28 Nov 2006
Exploring Brunei’s past

Awang Hj Osman Salleh, a senior research officer from the Archaeology Section, welcomed the visitors and later gave them a brief introduction of the site.

He said the unearthing of artifacts comprising mostly porcelain dating back to the 10th to 13th centuries, which coincided with the Sung and Yuan Dynasties of China, marked a new era in the study of Brunei’s history.

The landmark excavation works commenced on October 21, 2002, unearthing close to 50,000 artifacts. The findings were made by a local company when it carried out an expansion and deepening project at the Limau Manis River.

They came across numerous shards of yellow unglazed earthenware, stoneware decorated in black under a clear glaze, stoneware with a celadon glaze as well as the blue-and-white porcelain.

They also found wooden items such as tops and weights used for fishing nets, beads and bangles used as ornaments as well as a form of trading currency.

Limau Manis was once inhabited by a large settlement that used the river as a means of transportation, for activities such as fishing and washing, as well as for obtaining food, medicine and building materials. Barter trade also existed between the communities living along the river.

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Author: Noel Tan

Dr Noel Hidalgo Tan is the Senior Specialist in Archaeology at SEAMEO-SPAFA, the Southeast Asian Regional Centre for Archaelogy and Fine Arts.

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