Cannonballs discovered at Fort Cornwallis

Professor Datuk Mokhtar Saidin looks on as hus assistants examine recently discovered cannons near the entrance to Fort Cornwallis in George Town February 19, 2018. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin
Professor Datuk Mokhtar Saidin looks on as hus assistants examine recently discovered cannons near the entrance to Fort Cornwallis in George Town February 19, 2018. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

KUALA LUMPUR, March 4 ― Several cannonballs have been discovered at Fort Cornwallis in Penang in the trench where two cannons believed to be over two centuries’ old had been found, the George Town World Heritage Incorporated (GTWHI) said today.

GTWHI said one of the cannonballs measured about 10cm in diametre, while the others, resembling canister shots, measured between 3cm and 6cm in diametre.

“They were uncovered by graduate students from the Centre for Global Archaeological Research in Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), namely Noridayu Bakry, Nurulnatasha Azman and Suhana Yusof during excavation works on site,” GTWHI said in a statement.

“The excavation project is an initiative by the Penang state government to reinstate the historical moat and other defensive outworks that surround Fort Cornwallis.”

GTWHI said the USM centre for global archaeological research director, Prof Datuk Mokhtar Saidin, and his team had discovered the two historical cannons last month while digging for the main door of the fort.

“Prof Dr Mokhtar had said the inscription on one of the cannons suggests that they date to the reign of King George III (1760-1820). With this discovery, Prof Dr Mokhtar had said the early interpretations of the historical British fort as a peaceful site could possibly be changed.”

According to GTWHI, the USM archaeological team would move the cannons from Fort Cornwallis to its centre for global archaeological research this week for conservation, noting that the cannons were fragile and weighed about 1.5 tonnes each.

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