Painting a picture of Singapore during its 'missing century'

Ceramic shards (above) found at Empress Place show that trade in Singapore might have carried on from before the 1400s to the early 1500s, says archaeologist Tai Yew Seng (right), who has been studying the scant records of 1400s Singapore and will fo
Ceramic shards (above) found at Empress Place show that trade in Singapore might have carried on from before the 1400s to the early 1500s, says archaeologist Tai Yew Seng, who has been studying the scant records of 1400s Singapore and will focus on excavation artefacts to get an idea of what the island was like then.PHOTOS: CHONG JUN LIANG, COURTESY OF TAI YEW SENG
Ceramic shards (above) found at Empress Place show that trade in Singapore might have carried on from before the 1400s to the early 1500s, says archaeologist Tai Yew Seng (right), who has been studying the scant records of 1400s Singapore and will fo
Ceramic shards found at Empress Place show that trade in Singapore might have carried on from before the 1400s to the early 1500s, says archaeologist Tai Yew Seng (above), who has been studying the scant records of 1400s Singapore and will focus on excavation artefacts to get an idea of what the island was like then.PHOTOS: CHONG JUN LIANG, COURTESY OF TAI YEW SENG

This is the second of six weekly articles covering the Singapore History Series - Seven Centuries In Six Episodes, organised as part of the SkillsFuture Festival in collaboration with the Singapore Bicentennial Office

Were the people of early Singapore growing their own rice?

A little-known poem - presented by archaeologist Tai Yew Seng in a lecture last Thursday - describes Singapore as having barren land but able to "produce a lot of rice".

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 11, 2019, with the headline 'Painting a picture of S'pore during its 'missing century''. Print Edition | Subscribe