Construction work unearths 200-year-old artefacts

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KUCHING: Several artefacts, believed to have existed around 1800 to 1900, were found during construction work on the sewage system extension project near the Central Police Station here, on Thursday.

Sarawak Museum Department deputy director Dayang Morzanah Awang Haddy said most of the findings were in the form of pottery, pottery fragments as well as old bottles from China, Europe and most likely from the Middle East.

“There are also artefacts that are still in perfect and good condition.These will be brought back to the Museum Department for analysis to see the history and when they were made, for a full report,” she said when contacted on Friday (March 4).

According to her, a report on the findings was received from the contractor carrying out the work at Jalan Khoo Hun Yeang/Kai Joo Lane near the Central Police Station.

In light of this she said site study work would be carried out by the Archaeological Unit of the Sarawak Museum Department at the site of the discovery.

The studies would involve soil and cultural layers found at the discovery site as well as the history of the construction of the police station itself, to see the possibility of old settlements in the area, or if there were presence of rivers.

In the meantime, she stressed that under the Sarawak Heritage Ordinance 2019, any discovery in the form of artefacts must be reported to the Sarawak Museum Department or submitted directly to the department.

In December 2020, excavations by the Public Works Department (PWD) around the police station also found some old artefacts with the most obvious discovery being a glass pill bottle made in 1880 from London.

Meanwhile in 2018, excavation work at Padang Pasir here, also led to the discovery of the old railway track.

According to a 2017 report, Sarawak Museum Archaeological Division head Mohd Sherman Sauffi said the discovery of artefacts near the Central Police Station here (while building the drainage system in the city centre), proved that the area had once been the focus of commercial activities.

Among items found that year were hundreds of fragments of ceramics such as pottery and ancient crockery produced during the Qing Dynasty era, which are over 200 years old.

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