13th-century relics from Majapahit kingdom found beneath Malacca river

Relics possibly dating back to the 13th-century Majapahit empire are believed to have been found along a stretch beneath the Malacca river. PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

MALACCA (THE STAR/ ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Relics possibly dating back to the 13th-century Majapahit empire are believed to have been found along a 2km stretch beneath the Malacca river.

Two weeks ago, a group of professional divers apparently discovered parts of a Hindu temple and a fort-like structure.

They believed that these ancient finds could point to a submerged city that existed even before Parameswara founded Malacca in 1400.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Idris Haron, when contacted, acknowledged that he had received a report about the sighting of the relics.

"But we have yet to get an in-depth report.

"The finding is still vague until archaeologists from the Heritage Department make their conclusions," he said.

The Majapahit empire was centralised in east Java and was a vast archipelagic kingdom during its peak between 1293 and 1527.

Malacca was once an important town for Majapahit's palace officials and soldiers who made the town their maritime headquarters.

In February last year, The Star reported that relics discovered in Pulau Nangka were reportedly from the Majapahit era.

Two relics found on the island by a salvaging firm featured characters and symbols that indicated that they could date back to the Majapahit kingdom.

When contacted yesterday, Malacca Museum Corporation's general manager Datuk Khamis Abas said relics linked to the Majapahit age had been salvaged from the river since the late 1990s.

"Some of these relics have been displayed at a museum," he said.

History buff Mohd Fuad Khusari M. Said said he researched claims of an underwater city and found there was a temple and structures resembling a fort.

"The underwater city stretches from the bridge close to Hard Rock Cafe in Malacca to Kampung Morten.

"This underwater city is about 20m from the river surface.

"The statues and various structures are still intact," he claimed.

State Public Affairs, Human Resources and NGO Affairs committee chairman Datuk M.S. Mahadevan expressed hope that the Heritage Department would make all findings public.

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