Volunteers working at the SCC.
More volunteers working at the SCC while a crowd
Associate Professor John Miksic contemplating
at the SCC.
In April 2003, the Singapore Cricket Club has
graciously permitted a test excavation on their grounds. The Padang
site holds great potential for clarifying numerous points regarding
early Singapore. Laying of cables beneath the Padang in the early
1990s (along a line extending from Coleman Street to the Esplanade)
revealed a layer of 14th-century artifacts. No archaeological investigation
was however permitted at that time. The Padang is important because
it lies further away from the Singapore River than sites previously
investigated. A sample of the density of artifacts, and their nature,
from the Padang (if any exist) will make it much easier to estimate
the size of ancient Singapore’s population, the range of activities
carried out here, and the allocation of space for various purposes.
The Padang, meaning open field in the Malay language,
was created by the British colonists in the 1820s and since then
no major construction or developments has taken place, hence the
chances of finding undisturbed 14th century strata is greatly improved.
An initial test pit of 5x2 meters was excavated
in order to test the potential of the Padang. The wealth of finds
resulted in the extension of the work period as well as the size
of the test pit to a total of 10x2 meters. An array of artifacts
were recovered, from indigenously made earthenware, imported Chinese
trade ceramics, Tang, Song and even Jin Dynasty coinages, to metal
slag and glass beads and bangles. The Singapore Cricket Club generously
granted permission to excavate on their grounds from 15th April
through 1st May 2003, and provided not only the welcomed tent shelter
but also much enthusiastic support from the management and members.