- 2006/12/01 Blocks similar to earlier find

Laterite blocks unearthed at the project site of the 110m revolving tower near the Parameswara Jetty here are similar to the ones found about 500m away at Dataran Pahlawan in 2003.

This is the initial findings of Museums Department staff at the site, some of whom were involved in the Dataran Pahlawan excavation three years ago, when a watchtower dating back to the Portuguese period was discovered.

"They are similar and could be dated back to the same era," said a source.


Image: Museums Department workers removing soil yesterday to find out if the wall was one of the bastions built by the Portuguese.
Museums Department workers removing soil yesterday to find out if the wall was one of the bastions built by the Portuguese.



The Star reported yesterday that work on the RM21mil tower project had been suspended for two weeks as of Saturday following the discovery of an ancient wall at the project site.

Archaeologists are now verifying whether the wall was one of the bastions built by the Portuguese during their occupation of Malacca from 1511 to 1641.

As of yesterday, the departmentís workers and archaeologists at the site had dug a 1m deep trench measuring 4m by 1m.

Workers from the tower project had also used an excavator to help remove the earth dug up in a bid to speed up work to enable the archaeologists to identify their findings.

More red laterite blocks could be seen but the archaeologists insisted on digging deeper for verification purposes.

Kumpulan Melaka Bhd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the state government, is building the tower.

In June 2003, archaeologists uncovered a watchtower built by the Portuguese beneath the former football field of the historic Dataran Pahlawan when the Dataran Pahlawan Melaka Megamall was being built.

The mall was a joint venture project that also involved Kumpulan Melaka Bhd.

At that time, the then Museums and National Antiquities Department had also asked Malacca Museums Corp to apply for a suspension of the development project to allow archaeological works to be carried out.

A wooden bridge was built in December last year over the spot where the watchtower is located to enable tourists to take a closer look at it.

Business operations at the mall, touted as the stateís largest, started in October.

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