700-year-old artefacts on display at Brunei's new archaeological park

PHOTO: Brunei Times/ANN

Members of the public can now learn about the history of 700-year-old artefacts that were left behind from the ancient city of Kota Batu at the newly-launched Archaeological Park.

The 120-acre park has an exhibition that showcases ancient objects found at Kota Batu archaeological site around 1950.

The exhibited artefacts included stone carvings, pottery, ceramics and ancient coins. A 2.9km walkway was also built at the park for sightseeing.

Director of Museums Pg Dr Karim Pg Hj Osman said the $2 million Kota Batu Archaeological Park was built to preserve objects from the fallen Kota Batu city as a step in tracing back Brunei's cultural heritage.

Speaking on the sidelines of the launch of the park yesterday, he said the historic city of Kg Kota Batu was known to be occupied by over 25,000 people comprising migrants from Vietnam, Thailand and China.

"Over 700 years ago, the area used to be a city, which is why we plan to retrieve and recover the ancient items lost by excavating the Kota Batu site," he said.

Pg Dr Karim explained that the department had excavated only 30 per cent of the artefacts at the site.

The director believes the department could discover more historical relics in the future, including the palace of Sultan Bolkiah in 1521.

"We will preserve all the discovered ancient items, flora and fauna through restrictions under the Antiquities and Treasure Troves Act of 1967, where people are not allowed to disturb anything within this area," he continued.

"Species within the area are also under the Act, therefore they are protected and acts as a small sanctuary for the public to view them," added Pg Dr Karim.

According to Pg Dr Karim, several species were spotted in the area, such as helang merah, raja udang, basing buah, biawak, ular penalan and kijang.

"We want to preserve and maintain the area to keep the natural environment, while discovering new artefacts through excavation," he said.