By Peter Sibon
KUCHING, Dec 18: Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said, he would leave the examination of the artifacts found in the compound of the Central Police Station yesterday to the Sarawak Museum Department for verification.
He added that the studies were necessary to ensure that if the artifacts were indeed authentic, they would indeed be of and are a valuable heritage to the state.
“We will let the Museum Department verify whether these are really artifacts or things thrown from the coffeehouse nearby thrown into the drains.
“But looking at what I saw in the papers, they look like something very good. Probably during that time the present police station was constructed on some kind of settlement around there because most of the ‘artifacts’ are fragmented except for the shilling.
“But that reflects the history of that place. (But), I will wait and see what the State museum has to say on this. I’m not an expert of this myself,” Abdul Karim told a press conference at the Sarawak Crafts Council Centre at the Kuching Waterfront here today.
On a separate issue, Abdul Karim said the State government would open up the three archaeological sites in Santubong to the public
“They do find artifacts like these also at the Sungai Jaong, Bongkissam and Wallace Trail and in Santubong archaeological sites,” he said, adding that the State Museum Department is currently doing their research there.
Abdul Karim said more in-depth studies needed to be done to determine the authenticity of these artifacts.
“If indeed they are of value and heritage to Sarawak, then they might end up being displayed in our museum,” he said.
Abdul Karim was commenting on the findings of artifacts by the Public Works Department (JKR) in the compound of the Central Police Station yesterday.
It was reported that several artifacts, including a glass pill bottle believed to have been made in London in the 1880s, have been found during excavation works for a sewerage project.
State Museum Department deputy director Dayang Morzanah Awang Haddy had said that a site study work would be carried out by the department’s Archaeological Unit.
One of the artifacts has the word ‘London’ can be clearly seen stamped on the bottle, which is believed to have been made in 1880.
It is learned that most of the discoveries were in the form of pottery either from China or Europe and possibly from the Middle East.
Under the Sarawak Heritage Ordinance 2019, any findings in the form of old artifacts must be reported to the Sarawak Museum Department or submitted to the department immediately. -DayakDaily