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Title: Pedra Branca off Singapore : a historical cartographic analysis of a post-colonial territorially disputed island
Authors: Ong, Brenda Man Qing
Perono Cacciafoco, Francesco
Keywords: Humanities::Linguistics::Historical linguistics
Issue Date: 2022
Source: Ong, B. M. Q. & Perono Cacciafoco, F. (2022). Pedra Branca off Singapore : a historical cartographic analysis of a post-colonial territorially disputed island. Histories, 2(1), 47-67.
Journal: Histories 
Abstract: At the eastern entrance of the Singapore Strait lies Pedra Branca, an island of granite rock situated in hazardous waters. Its unexceptional presence belies a rich cartographical history and infamous reputation for leading ships to grief since antiquity. Pedra Branca was first pushed into the spotlight when the British constructed the Horsburgh Lighthouse in 1851. It later caught international attention when a heated territorial dispute for the island between Singapore and Malaysia arose, lasting from 1979–2018, with the International Court of Justice (ICJ) eventually granting rights to Singapore. The ensuing legal battle led to renewed interest in the geography and post-19th century history of the island. The most recent breakthrough, however, provides a glimpse into an even earlier history of Pedra Branca—and by extension, Singapore—as shipwrecked remains dating from the 14th century were uncovered in the surrounding waters. Historical research on the ancient history of Pedra Branca has been mostly neglected by scholars over the years; thus, this paper aims to shed some light on this enigmatic history of the island and at the same time establish its history and significance by utilizing pre-British-colonization historical cartographical data from as early as the 15th century.
ISSN: 2409-9252
DOI: 10.3390/histories2010005
Rights: © 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (
Fulltext Permission: open
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:SoH Journal Articles

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