Ancient Places In Singapore

Stamford Raffles and his entourage landed on an island inhabited by 1,000 Chinese, Malay, and orang laut (“sea people” in Malay). A treaty was signed on 6 February 1819, along with a formal ceremony and banquet, permitting the British East India Company (EIC) to establish a trading post on the island. The conventional narrative regards today as the commencement of modern Singapore, starting with the development by William Farquhar.

However, Singapore’s history dates back far further. In reality, the island 700 years ago shares many characteristics with today’s cosmopolitan city-state. Singapore was already a hub for a broad trading network in the 14th century, heavily involved in trade with neighboring ports and areas. Commodities such as hornbill casques and lakawood (an aromatic wood used as incense) were exported from Singapore, or Temasek during the time.

Archaeological discoveries show that early Singapore imported pottery artifacts from China, as well as other products from the region. Singapore also has a royal lineage that dates back to the 13th century, beginning with a prince from Palembang, Sri Tri Buana (also known as Sang Nila Utama), and ending with the last king, Iskandar Shah, fleeing to Malacca in the aftermath of a scandal involving the daughter of a royal minister and an invasion by Majapahit forces from Java.

Credit: National Museum of Singapore. Sherds of 14th century Chinese pottery, Celadons from Longquan, white wares from Dehua, blue and white from Jingdezhen, and Shufu porcelain are among the artifacts on display. Song Dynasty Chinese coins, bronze fishing hooks, bones, and ceramics (about 14th-15th century) were also uncovered.

Here are some of the interesting spots in Singapore which contain elements of pre-Raffles or pre-colonial Singapore:

For Canning Hill (Bukit Larangan) – A Hidden Gem Of Singapore’s Ancient Past

Credit: Little Day Out

Nestled in the heart of modern Singapore, Fort Canning is a historical hill that conceals a hidden gem of the island’s ancient past. Known as Bukit Larangan or “Forbidden Hill” in Malay, this hilltop oasis was once the center of ancient Singapura, a thriving kingdom in the 14th century.

Archaeological evidence suggests that Fort Canning was home to a royal palace, as well as other buildings of political, religious, and commercial significance. The first archaeological excavations on the hill were conducted in the 1920s, and more recent excavations have uncovered a wealth of artifacts, including pottery, Chinese coins, and iron slag. These artifacts have helped to shed light on the lives of the people who lived on the hill centuries ago.

One of the most significant archaeological discoveries on Fort Canning is the Artisan’s Garden. This site was once a workshop where artisans produced goods for the royal palace. Evidence of pottery making, metalworking, and bead making has been found at the site.

Another important archaeological site on Fort Canning is the Keramat Bukit Larangan. This keramat (Malay shrine) is believed to contain the remains of the last ruler of pre-colonial Singapore. The keramat is located on a rocky outcrop at the summit of the hill, and it offers stunning views of the surrounding city.

In addition to the archaeological sites, Fort Canning also contains a number of other historical landmarks, including the Battlebox, a subterranean military bunker that was used during World War II. The Battlebox is now a museum that tells the story of Singapore’s defense during the war.

Fort Canning is a unique and important historical site in Singapore. It is a place where visitors can learn about the island’s rich and diverse past. From the ancient ruins of the royal palace to the Battlebox, Fort Canning offers a glimpse into Singapore’s history from its earliest days to the present.

Credit: Johor Kaki Blogspot

Why Visit Fort Canning?

  • To learn about Singapore’s pre-colonial history
  • To see archaeological sites and historical landmarks
  • To enjoy stunning views of the city
  • To visit a unique and important historical site

Whether you are interested in history, culture, or simply want to enjoy a scenic walk, Fort Canning is a must-visit for anyone interested in learning more about Singapore’s past.

Radin Mas Hill – Ancient Ruins of Radin Mas Hill

Radin Mas Hill is a small hill located in the eastern part of Singapore. It is believed to have been a settlement site for the Malay people in the pre-colonial era. Archaeological evidence suggests that the hill was occupied from the 14th to the 17th centuries.

The first archaeological excavations on Radin Mas Hill were conducted in the 1980s. Excavations have uncovered a number of significant archaeological finds, including pottery, Chinese coins, and iron slag. These artifacts have helped to shed light on the lives of the people who lived on the hill centuries ago.

One of the most significant archaeological discoveries on Radin Mas Hill is a cluster of well-preserved brick ruins. These ruins are believed to be the remains of a Malay settlement from the 14th century. The ruins consist of a number of interconnected buildings, including houses, workshops, and a communal space.

Another important archaeological find on Radin Mas Hill is a collection of Chinese ceramics. These ceramics date back to the 15th and 16th centuries. The presence of Chinese ceramics suggests that Radin Mas Hill was a trading hub, and that the Malay people who lived on the hill had extensive trade links with China.

The ancient ruins of Radin Mas Hill provide a fascinating glimpse into Singapore’s pre-colonial history. The archaeological finds on the hill offer a tangible connection to the people who lived and worked on the hill centuries ago. Radin Mas Hill is a must-visit for anyone interested in learning more about Singapore’s past.

Why Visit Radin Mas Hill?

Credit: https://www.roots.gov.sg/places/places-landing/Places/surveyed-sites/Makam-Puteri-Radin-Mas-Keramat-Radin-Mas
  • To learn about Singapore’s pre-colonial history
  • To see archaeological ruins and artifacts
  • To explore a unique historical site
  • To enjoy stunning views of the city

See more about the ancient ruins of Singapore in this TikTok clip:

@worldsecretplaces #CapCut #ancientsg #ancientsingapore #ancienthistory #historyofsingapore #singaporehistory #singaporetravel #historytravel #historytravels #singapura ♬ Somewhere Only We Know – Gustixa

Bukit Merah (Redhill)

Not far from Radin Mas hill lies another hill called Bukit Merah, now also known as Redhill. The name and identity of Redhill are derived from the Singaporean mythology of Bukit Merah, a hill famed for its vividly red dirt. According to legend, a local child living on the hill devised a novel technique to safeguard Singapore from the dangerous swordfish that were attacking anyone who came too close to the shore.

Read this article for a list of hidden places of Singapore

Archaelogical Finds

In 2015, the year of the 50th anniversary of the Republic Of Singapore, the National Heritage Board (NHB), together with Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (Iseas), found centuries old ceramics when they did digging at the Empress Place. These ancient artefacts are beliebed to be more than 2 centuries old, dating to way before colonial Singapore, before Raffles set foot on the land.

Read this article for archaelogical findings by ST at Empress Place – https://www.asiaone.com/singapore/dig-shines-new-light-ancient-singapore

Get Free Email Updates!

Signup now and receive an email once I publish new content.

I agree to have my personal information transfered to GetResponse ( more information )

I will never give away, trade or sell your email address. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Leave a Reply