Ambon, Maluku (ANTARA News) - Pottery fragments from Tiongkok dating back to the 14th century when Yuan Dynasty ruled the country were found in Kambelo, South Hoamoal sub-district, West Seram district, Maluku, in June 2014, an archeologist stated on Wednesday.
These are the oldest foreign pottery artifacts that have been found so far in Maluku area, Syahruddin Mansyur from the Archeology Office of Ambon emphasized.
"Kambelo is a locus of settlements that has an old pottery chronology compared to that of the artifacts found in other areas in Maluku. The earlier data shows that the pottery artifacts are mostly from the 18th to 20th centuries," he explained.
Syahruddin affirmed that the artifacts, which were discovered during the 14-day excavation, indicate the presence of foreign ceramic trading in Kambelo and its vicinity.
It shows that in the past, the area was an important trading post because of its strategic position in one of the worlds busiest trading lanes.
"The pottery artifacts not only come from Tiongkok but also from Vietnam and Japan," he noted.
According to Syahruddin, the history sources state that Kambelo was an important port during the Hoamoal Kingdom.
During the past, Kambelo was one of the important ports for spice trading in Maluku.
Kambelo was well known as the largest clove producer in Maluku in the 16th century.
In the early 17th century, the British and Danish had established trading representative offices in Kambelo before clove trading fell into the hands of the Dutch trading company, Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie (VOC) and Hoamoal was controlled by the Dutch.
"The Hoamoal Kingdom had a relationship with the Sultanate of Ternate, but due to differences in political views, disunity occurred between these two kingdoms. Hoamoal then decided to establish and develop its own trading lane," Syahruddin remarked.