When the Malay cannons boomed

via New Straits Times, 23 July 2017: A feature on the cannons of Kota Kuala Kedah in northern Malaysia.

Cannons were already in common use in Europe by the mid 14th century. During that same time the Arabs began using cannons as effective siege machines during their assaults on Spain. By the time Lopez D’Sequeira visited Melaka in 1509, the Malay sultanate was said to have around 8,000 pieces of this type of artillery in its possession.

After conquering Melaka in 1511, Alfonso D’Albuquerque reported that one third of the Malay cannons were made of iron while the rest were cast from brass. He was reported to have said that the workmanship of the cannons he confiscated couldn’t be excelled even back home in Portugal.

Among those captured by the Portuguese were large cannons or meriam. However, their numbers paled in comparison with the more common long pieces called lela.

Source: When the Malay cannons boomed | New Straits Times | Malaysia General Business Sports and Lifestyle News

Anchor and cannon found off Hong Kong

Divers in Hong Kong discovered a large anchor stock and a cannon, the former dating to the Song Dynasty.

Hong Kong’s sunken treasure: ancient anchor and cannon reveal our rich maritime history
South China Morning Post, 19 July 2016

Two monumental artefacts were recovered over the weekend by a local diving group, marking a maritime heritage milestone for Hong Kong.

A diving team from the Hong Kong Underwater Heritage Group recovered an anchor stock – the upper part of an anchor – around Basalt Island, and a cannon off the coast of High Island. The anchor stock is believed to date back to the Song Dynasty, making it over 1,000 years old – Hong Kong’s oldest marine artefact.

“It’s important for Hong Kong’s [maritime] history because it’s evidence to show that Hong Kong is a location worth investigating,” Dr Libby Chan Lai-pik, senior curator at the Hong Kong Maritime Museum said. The museum is a sponsor of the Underwater Heritage Group.

“The anchor is proof that Hong Kong was perhaps quite advanced during the Song Dynasty in terms of water transport and commercial trade.”

Full story here.

Artillery cannon found in Sri Lanka

Parts of an artillery cannon were found during construction in Sri Lanka.

Artillery gun found in Galle. Source: Daily News Sri Lanka 20150928
Artillery gun found in Galle. Source: Daily News Sri Lanka 20150928

Parts of artillery gun found near Galle Face
Daily News Sri Lanka, 2015092

Parts of an artillery gun with historical value was found in the Galle Face area yesterday.

Parts of the gun were detected by workers at a private construction site when they were excavating an area for construction, Military Spokesman Brigadier Jayanath Jayaweera told the Daily News. He said the main part of the gun is 26 feet in length.

Full story here.

Hue antiquities to be listed as national treasures

Some artefacts from the imperial city of Hue are to be listed as national treasures of Vietnam.

Sacred cannons from Hue, Tuoi Tre News 20120208
Sacred cannons from Hue, Tuoi Tre News 20120208

Hue antiquities to become national treasures
Tuoi Tre News, 08 February 2012
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Vietnamese cannon undergoing restoration

A 19th century cannon found in Ha Tinh Province in undergoing restoration by the Ha Tinh Museum and the Vietnam History Museum.

Ha Tinh restoring ancient cannon
Saigon Giai Phong, 07 April 2010
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Ancient bronze cannon unearthed in Quang Ninh

13 March 2007 (Vietnam Net Bridge) –

Vietnam Net Bridge, 13 Mar 07

Ancient bronze cannon unearthed in Quang Ninh

An ancient bronze cannon has been unearthed in the ancient Van Don trading port in northern Quang Ninh province.

The 70-kg gun, which is 88cm long, was found 30m-deep underwater. Its barrel has a diameter of 5cm.

The gun is believed to date back nearly 200 years, according to Dr Pham Quoc Quan, director of the Vietnam History Museum. It was casted after guns used on Spanish merchant or warships.

According to Tran Trong Ha, director of the Quang Ninh Museum, the discovery marks a new stage for the underwater archeology sector in the province as well as the northern region of Viet Nam.

Scores of ancient ceramic objects were also discovered by local fishermen at the site.