Saturday, March 24, 2012

Constraints : Bronze money in the design of seashells. With the development of commodity exchange, the supply of natural shells as the currency ran out of supply. Imitation shell money made from stone, bone, ceramics and bronze was thus invented to make up for the shortage. But eventually it was bronze shell-shaped money that replaced natural shells.

During the days of the ancient Chinese Civilization, they invented Chinese coins, the first metal coins in the world. Bronze and Copper imitations of cowrie shells were manufactured by China about 1000 BCE and could be considered some of the earliest forms of metal coins.

The earliest coins were inscribed imitation hoes issued by the Zhou kings in the late sixth century BCE. In the third century BCE a practical solution to the problem of handling irregularly shaped coins was found by replacing hoe and knife coins with flat disc-shaped coins with a central hole, so they could be carried in bulk on strings.

The invention of Chinese coins serve as a fundamental base of currency in Asia and contribute to the conventional way of trading, purchase and selling.

Resources and References


1.Parliament of Singapore. (2011). Parliament of singapore website . Retrieved from  
2. Computer Smiths. (n.d.). History of chinese invention and discovery history of chinese invention - the invention of monetary coins. Retrieved from 
3. China Info Online. (n.d.). Ancient coins(古币 gubi). Retrieved from


Picture of the night scene at the bank of the Singapore River     -   (

Friday, March 23, 2012

Panaromic View of Singapore River at Coleman Bridge

Trade at Singapore River (ACM)

Asian Civilisation Museum - Artefact 3 : Mirror

Artefact 3: Mirror (with cosmological decoration)

Period of time : China, 759

Material : Bronze

This artefact is a mirror with cosmological decoration in the Tang Dynasty.

Three differences to modern day version :

1. The material of the modern mirror is different from the Tang Dynasty mirror. The modern mirror is made of glass and a sheet of aluminum behind the glass. The Tang Dynasty mirror is made from bronze and was originally silvery, due to adding tin to bronze. Bronze and tin were materials used more commonly in the past by the Chinese, thus these materials were used to make mirrors. Another reason behind this is that bronze is stronger. It is also hard and brittle, and it was particularly significant in antiquity.

2. The purpose of the mirrors are also different. The mirror made in the Tang Dynasty is a celebrated form called "Jiangxin" or "Yangxin" (Heart of the Yangzi). It is used to cast aboard a boat moored in the Yangzou Yangzi River. The modern version of the mirror is used to check the person's appearance. It is also used for personal grooming or admiring oneself.

3. The occasions that the mirrors were or are made in are also different in a way that the mirror made in the Tang Dynasty was made on the 29th day of the 11th month of the 1st day of the wuxu era according to its inscription. The wuxu era is of the Qianyuan reign of the Tang in Yangzhou in the midst of the Yangzi River. Now, many mirrors are manufactured everyday to be sent to various stores and sold to people.

Shape Change of Singapore River

I do not think Singapore River would have a change of shape as the government would do its best to preserve this tourist attraction for the future generations. The land wouldn't be reclaimed to build more buildings. The river is also almost rubbish-free which does not clogged up the drain which might cause a little change of shape over a very very very very very long period of time.


Coleman Bridge links hill street and new bridge road near clarke quay. In the past, the bridge creates a boundary between downtown core and the singapore river planning area, located within Singapore's central district. This bridge was the second bridge built across singapore river and has undergo many changes, it was one constructed with timber than replaced by iron and finally concrete due to the heavy traffic flow.

Eglin Bridge was named after Lord Eglin, governor-general of India in 1929, it was the first fridge across the river. It allowed access between the indian merchants of high street and the chinese community.

Cavenagh Bridge is the oldest bridge in singapore that is still in its original form. Its original name was edinburgh named after a duke but was later named after Major General Cavenagh. It linked the northern bank to the commercial district.