Here’s some encouraging news for history and heritage buffs.
In a move that could encourage more local archaeological studies, the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth’s (MCCY) Parliament Secretary Baey Yam Keng said in Parliament on Mar. 9 that the National Heritage Board’s (NHB) Heritage Plan will be looking at policy and legislative reviews to enable local archaeology to be better conducted.
He said that that archaeology contributed towards a fuller picture of Singapore’s history, going much further back than our more than 50 years of independence.
In 2015, Singapore’s largest ever archaeological excavation was conducted at Empress Place. Organised by NHB, the excavation from Jan. to Apr. 2015, unearthed about 3.5 tonnes of artefacts dating to 14th century Singapore (then known as Temasek).
Among the artefacts found during the excavation were 300 to 500 copper coins from different time periods. They date back to imperial China, 12th century Ceylon, and the Dutch East India Company, suggesting that 14th century Temasek was a well-established international trading hub.
Baey said that in the absence of written records, the artefacts provided clues to the kinds of activities that took place on the island.
On the Heritage Plan, Baey said that it will set out the national vision and action plans for a museum and heritage landscape that will foster a stronger sense of belonging and identity among Singaporeans.
Top image from NHB.