GEORGE TOWN, Feb 21 – Two historical cannons buried 1.2m below the ground beside Fort Cornwallis were discovered during the excavation of the moat and outer defensive structures of Fort Cornwallis at the Esplanade here, yesterday.
Director of the Global Archaeological Research Centre at Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), Professor Datuk Dr Mokhtar Saidin said the two cannons, which were 2.35m and 2.2m in length, which are believed to be at least 200 years old, were unearthed adjacent to the Esplanade on the western side of the fort.
“After the Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng’s visit in August last year, we continued to relook all the structure that had already been in map 1877. Actually we wanted to look for the main entrance here (Fort Cornwallis) but we found the two cannons.
“In both cannons we found could be even older than two centuries as there were marking the symbol of GR (the symbol of King George III), who reigned in Great Britain from 1760 to 1820. The cannons would be sent to USM for conservation work and further analyses soon,” he told a press conference, here today.
Mokhtar said the finding of the two cannons would change Fort Cornwallis’ history as a “peaceful fort”. Meanwhile, Lim who also attended the press conference said the area would be protected to allow the work to continue and security would also be set up in the area to avoid the cannons from being stolen.
The excavation works were endorsed by Jabatan Warisan Negara and it was part of an effort to reinstate the historical moat and other defensive outworks that surround the 232-year-old monument. The moat, which was a channel dug around the fort for defensive and drainage purposes, was backfilled in 1922. — PN