MELAKA: Recently unearthed remnants of a wooden vessel and other artefacts could be the first discovery of links to the Melaka Sultanate.
The vessel is believed to be linked to the last ruler of Melaka, Sultan Mahmud Shah (1488-1511), said Datuk Dr Dionysius SK Sharma.
The archaeology buff is currently working closely with the National Heritage Department and Melaka Museum Corporation (Perzim) to unearth tangible artefacts relating to the sultanate.
"We used to discover remnants of galleons related to the (former colonialists) Dutch and Portuguese as well as Chinese junks," he said when met at the discovery site on Pulau Melaka on Friday (April 2).
Dionysius said the remnants have been sent to the United States to determine the actual age of the timber through laboratory tests.
"The tests are crucial to verify whether the vessel was carrying the cargo of foreign vessels or transporting items from the Melaka Sultanate," he said.
Dionysius likened Pulau Melaka to a treasure trove, noting that an earlier discovery of artefacts there was believed to date back to the Song and Ming dynasties as well as the Melaka Sultanate era.
"More artefacts could be unearthed if Pulau Melaka is properly scoured and excavation done with proper planning," he said.
He added that so far, not many relics relating to the Melaka Sultanate have been discovered.