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- 2007/11/22 Skeletons and artefacts found in Bandar Hilir

The remains of four skeletons, complete with the skulls and frames intact, were found at an excavation site in Bandar Hilir four months ago, State Tourism, Culture and Heritage Committee chairman Datuk Ab Rahaman Ab Karim said.

He told the state assembly yesterday that, based on radiocarbon dating, the skeletons could be of people who lived during the Malacca Sultanate period between 1400 and 1450. Archaeology experts from Universiti Sains Malaysia are carrying out further studies on the bones.

Ab Rahaman also said different artefacts, 10,015 items in all, were recovered at the site.

The artefacts include Chinese porcelain, stoneware, broken Dutch pipes, broken glasses and bottles, and 19 old coins. There were also seven bullets.

The state government would not continue with its plan to construct a watchtower next to the Malacca tourist information office because of the artefact discovery, he added.

A new RM23mil tower is being constructed in Banda Hilir and would be managed by Kumpulan Melaka Berhad.

Speaking to reporters later, Ab Rahaman said the skeletons were believed to be Europeans based on their size.

"We believe it was a burial site as there was a key in a box found near the skeletons," he said.

Ab Rahaman said they had also requested the Culture, Arts and Heritage Ministry to allow them to house the skeletons and the artefacts in a museum in the state.

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