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Major archaeological dig underway at Singapore's Empress Place

Archaeologists have discovered around 400kg worth of artefacts at an excavation site at Empress Place, it was announced on Friday (Feb 13).

The site, located in front of the Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall, is more than 1,000 square metres in size - making it the largest excavation site in the country to date.

Major archaeological dig underway at Singapore's Empress Place
A volunteer at work at a major archaeological dig at Empress Place 
[Credit: Strait Times/Melody Zaccheus]
The excavation is being organised by the National Heritage Board, and it is taking place ahead of the Urban Redevelopment Authority's enhancement plans for the Civic District.

Archaeologists on site said some of the artefacts found could be at least 700 years old. The excavation started on Feb 2 and will go on till Apr 9, while it could take as long as three weeks to process a day's worth of findings. The artefactss will be studied in laboratories.

"Archaeological excavations are important because they help Singaporeans better understand and appreciate the past," said Mr Alvin Tan, group director (Policy) of National Heritage Board.

"The archaeological finds that we uncover provide material evidence of what life was like way back even before the founding of modern Singapore by Sir Stamford Raffles."

Major archaeological dig underway at Singapore's Empress Place
Pieces of ceramic found at the dig [Credit: Strait Times/Melody Zaccheus]
Lead project archaeologist Mr Lim Chen Sian added: "Historical records are very skimpy. So through the material records, or archaeology, we can paint a different dimension of what sort of events occurred over here. There're a lot of question marks, and through our work we hope to answer some of these questions."

Culture, Community and Youth Minister Lawrence Wong, who visited the site, said the growing interest in heritage is timely as Singapore celebrates its 50th birthday.

Author: Nadia Jansen Hassan | Source: Channel News Asia [February 13, 2015]

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1 comment :

  1. Early press reports speak of an inscription which was found near the site of the Raffles Hotel. It has neither been published nor are there any more references to that particular epigraph.


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