Singapore: The Singapore Cricket Club Excavation

John N. Miksic, Department of Southeast Asian Studies, National University of Singapore, and Goh Geok Yian, History Programme, School of Humanities, Nanyang Technological University.

April 2003

This is the first of a projected series of archaeological site reports. The series is intended to make technical data available for comparative study to all scholars who work on Southeast Asian archaeology.

The first report in this series is devoted to a site of relatively modest proportions. This is by design; since the main medium by which these reports are designed to be disseminated is electronic, they can be updated, modified, and otherwise altered to adapt to the needs of the academic community as more sites are added, new typologies for artifacts and methods of organizing data are found to be significant, and new questions are posed. It is hoped that the use of this medium will enable scholars to communicate across political boundaries in order to foster regional collaboration.

The Singapore Cricket Club (SCC) site was excavated during a period of two weeks in 2003. This project was greatly facilitated by Prof. Brian Farrell of the Department of History, National University of Singapore. As a member of the Singapore Cricket Club, he was able to help the archaeological team to gain permission to excavated a small area (15.2 square meters). Mr. Mark James and Mr. Ray Parry of the SCC were instrumental in enabling the archaeological team to choose a location and a time which would not interfere with the SCC’s regular activities.

The excavation yielded mainly artifacts of the 14th century. These consisted of locally-made earthenware, Chinese porcelain and stoneware, Chinese coins and glass, and worked stone. One important find was a layer of white sand underlying the 14th-century stratum, which confirmed an ancient Malay description of ancient Singapore when it was first inhabited. The main activity at the site seems to have been the working of metal, including recycling Chinese copper coins.