Coins and ceramics unearthed during construction works in Malaysia

Construction works at Terengganu, a state on the eastern part of the Malaysian peninsula have revealed artefacts such as Chinese coins and ceramics. Authorities have stepped in to claim the artefacts, but it appears that some of the construction workers have been quietly selling off some of the artefacts to private collectors already.

Ancient coins and artefacts found in Terengganu’s Chinatown worksite
The Star, 13 January 2010

Earth-works for the new ring road and sewage system in Chinatown here have uncovered hundreds of ancient coins and other artefacts.

And there is concern that workers at the site and the public may have been quietly digging up these items to sell.

Site manager Omar Mahmod said many items might have been sold before he realised that his worksite contained buried treasures when he uncovered a porcelain vase that he believed was from ancient China.

He questioned his workers and discovered that many items had been found at the site.

“Many of these artefacts were found when we started earth excavation in February last year, but the workers concealed their find from us at first,” he said yesterday.

Read more about the Terengganu find here.


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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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