Digging Fort Canning Park: Refreshed archaeological site, restored gardens to open by June 2019

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Invited archaeologist Dr John N. Miksic (centre) and volunteers working at the Archaeological dig exhibition at Fort Canning Park on Oct 28, 2018. Photo: Ooi Boon Keong/TODAY

via Today, 28 October 2018: The Fort Canning site is being re-excavated and refurbished as part of the Singapore Bicentenary celebrations next year. New finds include Sawankhalok ware from Thailand.

Invited archaeologist Dr John N. Miksic (centre) and volunteers working at the Archaeological dig exhibition at Fort Canning Park on Oct 28, 2018. Photo: Ooi Boon Keong/TODAY

Invited archaeologist Dr John N. Miksic (centre) and volunteers working at the Archaeological dig exhibition at Fort Canning Park on Oct 28, 2018. Photo: Ooi Boon Keong/TODAY

Several new attractions showcasing the rich history of Fort Canning Park will be ready by June next year, breathing fresh life into the 18-hectare site.

Three historical gardens that will be restored will be ready by then, in conjunction with the bicentennial exhibition that will be held at the Fort Canning Centre, said the National Parks Board (NParks) on Sunday (Oct 28).

A 17-year-old exhibition space that features an archaeological dig site will be closed from next month to June next year for improvement works. When it reopens, the space will be renamed Artisan’s Garden as it is believed to be the site of a 14th-century palace workshop.

Source: TODAYonline | Digging Fort Canning Park: Refreshed archaeological site, restored gardens to open by June 2019

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Wednesday Rojak #42

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It’s almost been a month since the last Wednesday Rojak, and that’s because I’ve been traveling quite heavily for the last three weeks because of the term break and some family matters. On the flip side, it also means that I’ve amassed a few stories for this week’s very belated edition of rojak! Beside visiting Borobudur and Angkor, we also have a closer look at some of the sites in the Philippines.

Fort San Pedro
photo credit: thumbbook
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Another facet of Calatagan unveiled

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1 April 2007 (Manila Bulletin) – Talks about the archaeological finds in Calatagan, in the Batangas region of the Philippines which has a number of archaeological finds indicating trade with China and Vietnam. Calatagan is hoping to attract tourists, with one of its main attractions being the Golden Sunset Resort incorporating a museum featuring the local archaeological finds.

Another facet of Calatagan unveiled

Unknown to most, one of Asia’s major archaeological discoveries lies right in the heart of the once sleepy town of Calatagan, Batangas.

Once a bustling trading port in pre-colonial Philippines, Calatagan was home to early settlers who lived and survived by hunting, fishing, farming, textile weaving, and trade.

But in the 1950s, the whole town went agog when the National Museum conducted its very first systematic excavation. Unearthed were numerous grave sites which yielded artifacts that proved Calatagan was a busy trading port in the 14th century.

Decades of excavations brought about discoveries of artifacts, mostly ceramics of various forms and sizes like jars, plates, saucers, pitchers, jarlets, bowls, and figurines. Some artifacts were locally-made pottery, while others were clearly brought in from China, Thailand, Vietnam, and other countries.

“Archaeologists believe that the excavated objects were proof of maritime trade before the coming of the Spanish colonizers to the Philippines,” explains Wilfredo Ronquillo, chief of the Archaeology Division of the National Museum. “The existence of local and imported ceramics is proof of the extensive and vibrant trade between the early settlers of Calatagan and foreign traders.”

Also among the dug treasures are 15th century Calatagan pottery, such as earthenware plates, basins, pots, and other vessels with different patterns made by incisions and impressions.

There were also the 14th and 15th century ceramics, such as glass bracelets, bowls, and vessels from the Ming Dynasty (China), Celadon and Sawankhalok vessels (Thailand and Indo-China), as well as Annamese vessels (Vietnam).


Related Books:
The Calatagan Excavations: Two 15th Century Burial Sites in Batangas, Philippines by R. B. Fox
Oriental Ceramics Discovered in the Philippines by L. Locsin and C. Locsin