Rewriting Singapore’s history

Empress Place excavation. Source: AsiaOne 20150510

The excavations at Empress Place have ended, and the artefacts are now at ISEAS being sorted and tagged. These follow-up stories show the kinds of work that needs to be done, as well as some of the more interesting finds from the site.

Empress Place excavation. Source: AsiaOne 20150510
Empress Place excavation. Source: AsiaOne 20150510

Rewriting History Out of Dirt?
Today, 08 May 2015
(video, above)

Racing against time to salvage old Singapore
AsiaOne, 10 May 2015

When archaeology volunteer Margaret Wong pulled large ceramic pieces from the soil at an Empress Place excavation site near the Singapore River, she knew by their weight and smooth texture that they were centuries-old jade green fragments of high quality.

But the enormity of her find sunk in only after Chinese porcelain expert Tai Yew Seng, who had been digging nearby, recognised the fragments as imperial-grade ceramics produced between 1368 and 1398.

The pieces, which formed a 34cm diameter platter, turned out to be one of the most significant artefacts unearthed from the two-month dig that wrapped up last month.

Full story 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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