A web feature on the Fort Tanjong Katong excavation in Singapore, featuring an interview with Lim Chen Sian of the Archaeology Unit at the Nalanda-Sriwijaya Centre. I have a personal connection with this site as well, since Fort Tanjong Katong was one of the sites I volunteered at very early in my career.
Going Places, 05 September 2014
It has been ten years since the first hunk of dirt was removed from Katong Park during the excavation of Fort Tanjong Katong, one of the oldest military forts built by the British in Singapore. Back in 2004, more than 1,000 local residents, students, volunteers and archaeologists were involved in the excavation, which lasted up to ten months and well into the summer of 2005.
Today, most of the excavated fort has been reburied to keep its structural integrity intact, but a section behind an enclosure, can still be seen. Even with signage around the site to inform park-goers of the fort’s existence, it remains difficult to believe that right beneath the feet of picnicking families and evening joggers, an abandoned fort was once buried, forgotten and rediscovered.
How was the fort discovered? What does the future hold for it and, more importantly, how did its discovery manage to bring an entire community together?