Monday, May 23

Village extension project halted to enable archaeological study


KUCHING: Sarawak Museum Department will be conducting an archaelogical study on a site cleared for a village extension project near the historical Bongkissam shrine in Santubong, starting tomorrow (March 27).

According to a statement issued by the Land and Survey Department yesterday, clearing works on the project site had been halted for eight days – from March 24 to 31 – for the Museum Department to move in.

The expedition aims to uncover historical artefacts at the site – the results of which would be submitted to the state government.

Sarawak 4 Sarawakians campaigner Karen Shepherd had voiced out concern for the state’s culture and heritage as unearthed by the village extension project in the vicinity of the Bongkissam shrine.

According to her, the project was executed without any effort made to salvage archaeological treasures there.

Karen said the Bongkissam shrine dated between the 10th and 13th century was uncovered in the 1960s, and several objects found there were being displayed at Sarawak Museum.

Among the artefacts found were a silver ritual box and 142 gold objects that indicated it was once a sacred site – making Bongkissam one of the most significant archaeological sites in Sarawak and, perhaps, in Asean.