Unearthing Malacca's earliest skeletons

Remember the ancient bastions of fortress Malacca that was discovered late 2006 (see here and here)? There were also four 13th century skeletons discovered at the site, which was being analysed in the Centre for Archaeological Research Malaysia (where I’m based). They were having the press conference at the centre on Friday morning to announce the piece of news. Over the weekend, we also had the National Archaeology Seminar where we heard a paper presented about the skeletal finds from the site.



The skeletons were uncovered during the excavation of the Portuguese and Dutch-era bastions (respectively, Frederick Hendricks and Middlesburg bastions), but the radiocarbon dates suggested that the skeletons belonged to an earlier time frame, between 1400-1450. It’s certainly quite rare to be able to retrieve skeletal remains from the tropics, but that said, the bones are very fragile and are currently being kept in climate-controlled cabinets.
Malaysian Centre avails oldest burrial site
Africa Science News Service, 26 July 2008

Ancient burial site found at Malacca Fort
The Hindu, 27 July 2008

Melaka’s pre-Portuguese invasion skeletons
Daily Express, 27 July 2008

Related Posts

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.

2 thoughts on “Unearthing Malacca's earliest skeletons”

  1. Exciting news, I don’t remember reading about it before. Hope they manage to save the skeletons.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *