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Sunday, January 8, 2017

Kuching construction workers unearth Chinese relics

Pottery pieces found at construction site in Kuching believed to be from Qing Dynasty era

KUCHING - To a group of construction workers here, it was just another routine day as they were carrying out work to build a drainage system.

Little did they know that while digging near a police station in Jalan Khoo Yeang here, they would unearth pieces of ancient Chinese pottery.

The workers stumbled upon broken parts of a ceramic plate and a bowl, believed to be about 200 years old, on Friday.

Shapiee Said, 42, said the workers at first thought the ceramic pieces were nothing unusual and continued with their work.

“We found more items as we dug deeper. Sensing something amiss, we alerted the officers at the museum across the construction site.”

Shapiee said the workers gathered the pieces of ceramic and handed them to the officers of the Sarawak Museum Department.

“I have been doing construction work in many parts of the city but this is the first time that I had stumbled upon such rare items,” he said.

Checks by the New Sunday Times showed workers recovering more pieces of a ceramic plate and bowl at the construction site yesterday.

The discovery prompted Sarawak Museum Department deputy director Dr Charles Leh Moi Ung to visit the site.

“The items were found about 1.8m below the surface and we believe that more discoveries will be made in the coming days.

“We believe that the items are from the Qing Dynasty era.

“However, further examination is needed as most of the items are broken except for a few tablespoons,” said Charles.

He said the department would deploy officers to the area should the workers unearth more relics.

“What is interesting about these findings is that the area was previously a mangrove forest dominated by nipah palm,” said Charles.

According to Chinese history, the Qing Dynasty or Qing Empire was touted as the last great dynastic empire to rule the region. - NST

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