Archaeological Digs Show That Singapore Has Established Government In 14th Century

Archaeological digs show that Singapore had an established government as early as the 14th century.

A 10-week long archaeological dig was conducted at the Empress Place and which ended on Sunday. It was led by archaeologist Lim Chen Sian.

The dig unearthed artefacts such as Chinese imperial grade ceramics which were given by the Ming Dynasty emperor Hong Wu to rulers overseas. Hong Wu ruled China from 1375 and 1425.

The dig also 700-year-old timber planks which researchers believe meant that maritime activity existed in ancient Temasek.

“The timber was likely part of a structure of an ancient ship and the workmanship is typical of the South-east Asian style of ship building. We’ve always known about Temasek’s maritime activity but we’ve never had physical evidence of this until now,”Mr Lim said.

Other than these, there were also thousands of Chinese coins from 700 years ago as well as stoneware used to store condiments.

Porcelain pieces from the Yuan Dynasty were also found.

Not only were 14th and 15th century artefacts found, the dig also showed up a gold coin from the 16th to 17th when Singapore was part of the Johor Sultanate, which is a rare find.

This led Mr Lim to believe that the current Empress Place site used to be a bazaar or market place.

As the archaeological team found artefacts beyond their expectations, they have been given another month to continue digging in other zones at the site.

The excavation was organised by the National Heritage Board (NHB) in partnership with the Nalanda-Sriwijaya Centre of the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. It started on February 2.

NHB will decide what to do with the artefacts later on.



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