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Introduction. Was Singapore a Sleeping Fishing Village before 1819 ?

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Presentation on theme: "Introduction. Was Singapore a Sleeping Fishing Village before 1819 ?"— Presentation transcript:

1 Introduction

2 Was Singapore a Sleeping Fishing Village before 1819 ?

3 An idyllic fishing village prior to the arrival of the British in 1819? OR A great ancient kingdom? "And Singapura became a great city, to which foreigners resorted in great numbers so that the fame of the city and its greatness spread throughout the world." Source A: Inscription on the plaque of the statue of Raffles along Singapore River Source B: An excerpt from the Malay Annals

4 Background information  Located in Malay Archipelago (a group of over 25,000 islands situated between the Indian and Pacific Oceans)  Largest archipelago by area  3 RD largest archipelago by the number of islands in the world



7 Reconstruction of ancient Temasek  Long and involved process based on acquisition and analysis of sources  Example: The earliest colonial maps of Singapore were used to model the Singapore river with its sandbar, the mangrove swamp on the south bank of the river, and the Rocky Point at the river mouth Question: After watching this video, what can you conclude about life in Temasek?  Youtube Video: World of Temasek - The Forbidden Hill ZGl ZGl

8 Website: (for your own reference)


10 Sejarah Melayu Archaeological Discoveries Wang Dayuan  Archeological discovery of artefacts changed the “sleepy fishing village” image of ancient Singapore  Artefacts revealed that an elite class lived on the hill in the 14th Century and gave credence to the legends from Sejarah Melayu that describe a royal palace on the summit.

11 Archaeological Discoveries from the Forbidden Hill  What do these gold ornaments reveal about this elite class living on the hill?  Might be worn by a member the royal family of Temasek. They were wealthy enough to afford golden jewelry.

12 Archaeological Discoveries from the Forbidden Hill What does this fragment of a Yuan blue and white stemcup reveal about this elite class living on the hill? This elite class in Temasek could afford the best products of the Chinese kilns at Jingdezhen as it is of a type used mainly by Chinese elite for wine

13  Fort Canning Park (Bukit Larangan) means "Forbidden Hill" in Malay. The local settlers back then believed it was the site of palaces built by their ancestral kings.  The Keramat Iskandar Shah at the foot of the hill was believed to be the resting place of the last Malay king of the island (Parameswara).





18  Fresh water from spring: Served as a bathing place for royalty and a source of fresh water for the populace. This spring was still supplying ships with fresh water well into the nineteenth century, before eventually going dry.



21  14 th Century: Siamese and Javanese took turns to attack Singapore in order to made it part of their empires  A fort was built to defend the town from attacks  Walls of the fort supposed to have stretched from the sea to Bukit Larangan


23 Singapore river mouth area  Today’s Empress Place and Fullerton Hotel

24 Drawn around 1845-1848

25  Dragon’s Teeth Gate (Long Ya Men) formerly stood at the gateway to Keppel Harbour in Singapore  Its unique features assisted Zheng He in navigating the waters around Singapore during his voyages to the west  Destroyed in 1848 to widen channel for larger vessel to sail through




29  Long before Modern Singapore began, a vibrant Malay community was already in existence here. And, like all communities, they too have their own legends and myths.  What do they tell us about the people’s beliefs?

30 Fragment of Singapore Stone




34 Archaological Discoveries from other sites 1) Empress Place site: Various theories for the purpose of this winged rider statue include a depiction of an ancestor of the rulers of Temasek who emerged from the ocean on a winged sea-horse. 2) St Andrew’s site: Experts can only guess as to the purpose of a stone peg with a human head – was it a fruit- pitter used by people living in Temasek? A game piece? A fastener?

35 “Raffles would not have been taken aback. A big reason he chose Singapore as a base rather than other islands in the vicinity was that he was a scholar of the region’s history, and had read of Singapore in a book called the “Malay Annals”. His intention was to revive an ancient seaport that already had a glorious history.” A comment by Mr Miksic

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