Archeology of Tung Lung Island

Archeology of Tung Lung Island

Tung Lung Chau fort located east of the island,on the island visitors can overlookthe Fat Tong Mun. According to Xin'an County Records, Tung Lung Chai Fort was built during the reign of Emperor Kangxi (1662-72) to protect against pirates. However, another records mentioned that the fort was ordered to be built by Yang Lin, Governor-General of Guangdong and Guangxi (1719 to 1724).

Tung Lung Fort was built in the reign of Kangxi (1662 - 1722) of Qing Dynasty for the purpose of defending against pirates. The rectangular fort is enclosed by a 3m tall perimeter wall, measuring 33.5m by 22.5m. Its main entrance could be found at the northern wall.There are fifteen battalions and eight guns. Since its establishment, the fort has been stationed with defenders. By the early nineteenth century, pirates were increasingly rampant. The batteries were located on isolated islands and it face thedifficulty of resupplies and support. They were replaced by the Kowloon Battery Fort in 1801.

Battery repair works were carried out between 1979 and 1982. During the renovation works , the Antiquities and Monuments Office conducted a systematic archaeological excavation within the Battery. There were a large number of unearthed utensils.

The Antiquities and Monuments Office of the HKSAR Government funded archeological surveys in northern Tung Lung Chau from 2015 to 2016. The archaeological survey was carried out from December 2015 to the end of January 2016. It has carried out exploration, drilling and trial excavations in succession. A total of 23 exploration holes were drilled and 6 exploration sites were excavated. Cultural relics collected and unearthed include Song Dynasty Construction Accessories , Song Dynasty and Qing Dynasty ceramic fragments and other artifacts.
The discovery of cultural relics in the Song Dynasty shows that the temple and the stone pagoda built by the carved stone of the Southern Song Dynasty of the Tai Miu Wan in the "Five Years of Great Fortress Xiangfu  (1012).Moreover, the discovery of artifacts in the Song Dynasty provided authentic archaeological evidence for the purpose of studying "Nam Tong".

Survey target

Since there is no archaeological survey of any kind other than Tung Lung Chak Fort (Fo Tan Gate Fort) at Tung Lung Chau, it is necessary to conduct an archeological survey outside the fort to understand whether there are any ancient relics in the area.

Archaeological survey objectives can be summarized in the following three points:

  1. Whether Song Dynasty relics and architectural remains exist in the investigation area;
  2. Whether there is a pre-Qin cultural relics, cultural relics and architectural relics from the late Ming Dynasty to the mid-Qing Dynasty within 180m of the west side of Tung Lung Island Battery
  3. Whether the pre-Qin artifacts exist in the eastern slope of the east dragon stone carvings area, 

literature Research

Through literature research, we can understand the results of previous studies and serve as reference materials for archaeological survey.
Before carrying out field archeological surveys, the researchers collected and studied nearly 10 years of aerial photographs, archeological and historical studies related to Tung Lung Chau. From the late Ming Dynasty to the mid-Qing dynasty Xin'an County of Guangdong Province the history of coastal documents and historical maps,It will help to understand the possible existence of relics distribution areas outside the two statutory monuments in the north of Tung Lo Island.

Archeological exploration

The exploration was conducted on foot to find and record the cultural heritage and relics exposed to the ground within the survey area to determine the locations of ancient human activities. Record artifacts categories to determine the core activities of the ancients and their activities and types.

Historical background

At present, there is a place name "Nam Tong" in the northwest of Tung Lung Chau, which is opposite to the ancient name "Pek Tong", that is, the Dai Miao Wan of Clear Water Bay Peninsula.The strait in this area is called "Fat Tong Mun."In 1598 , the Guangdong Coastal Map of "Yue Dai Ji" There is an island east of Lei Yue Mun, Marked "Nan Fo Tong", its northern peninsula marked "North Fuk Tong" next to the North Temple marked "Tian Fei palace" (now known as Tin Hau Temple).
This shows that, at the end of the sixteenth century, Tung Lung Chau indeed called Nan Fuk Tong.Two statutory monuments are retained on the Tung Lung Chau, namely Tung Lung Chak fort (historical literature known as the Fat Tong Mun Fort) and Tung Lung
Stone carving.

Nam Fuk Tong Stone Tower

During the Southern Song Dynasty, Lin Songjian and Bai Jian brothers encountered hurricanes on the sea. When the ships were sunk, they were all very lucky to hold their idol statues in the boat to float to Tung Lung Chau. After that they established Tin Hau Temple under the "stone pagoda" of Nam Fuk Tong.Eventually, Lin Song-jian, son of Lin Songjian, relocated Tin Hau Temple of Nam Fuk Tong to Pek Fuk Tong.

Tung Lung Chak Battery (Fo Tan Gate Fort)

According to the Ming and Qing dynasties ancient records,
before the Fat Tong Mun Fort was built, there was already the late Ming and early Qing army cruise outpost.


East Long stone carving

Tung Lung stone carving is first discovered in twenty-seven years of Emperor Kangxi (1688). However, for the knowledge  of Tung Lung Stone Carving, the Pearl River Mouth area has successively discovered the relics of prehistoric rock carvings in Hong Kong, Macao and Zhuhai areas. Some scholars think that the East Long stone carving should be the same period, are more than 4,000 years ago Neolithic relics.

Archeological background

According the government record, only the Tung Lung Chai Fort has conducted an official archaeological excavation from 1979 to 1996, but no archaeological survey on the northern bank. A stone was discovered near Tung Lung Fort, showing the archaeological remains of Qin Dynasty in the northern part of Tung Lung Chau.

Jane Fan and Rao Tsung-yi once conducted the history surveys in Tung Lung Chau in the 1950s. They inspected the sites of Guta, Tin Hau Temple, Tung Lung stone carving and the Fat Tong Mun ruins. The two concluded from the survey results that "Nam Fuk Tong"  is located at inside the present Nam Tong Chuen.