Underground wall worthy of further investigation, experts say

An underground wall has been uncovered in Jakarta, but the lack of legislative support and urban construction concerns mean prevent further archaeological investigation.

12 December 2006 (Jakarta Post) – An underground wall has been uncovered in Jakarta, but the lack of legislative support and urban construction concerns mean prevent further archaeological investigation.

Underground wall worthy of further investigation, experts say

The discovery of an underground structure in a historic area of West Jakarta is only the beginning of the process of studying and understanding the site, experts say.

Last month, workers digging the western entrance of a pedestrian tunnel in the Old Town area uncovered the remnants of a stone wall, buried some three meters under the earth.

“The wall is likely to stretch farther along the north-south axis,” Josia Irwan Rastandi, a structural advisor to the contractor building the tunnel, Wijaya Karya, said last week.

The ongoing construction project makes it unlikely the city administration will permit a thorough on-site investigation, but archaeologists may be able to examine the ruins from another vantage point.

The stone structure, which stretches along a straight north-south axis, is intercepted by a 160-centimeter-thick brick wall, running east-west.

Heritage activists previously called for the construction project to be halted, in the belief that the findings were part of the Batavia city wall, which was built in the early 1600s.

However, preliminary archaeological studies carried out by the city’s cultural and museums agency have determined it is not part of the old fortress

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Author: Noel Tan

Dr Noel Hidalgo Tan is the Senior Specialist in Archaeology at SEAMEO-SPAFA, the Southeast Asian Regional Centre for Archaelogy and Fine Arts.

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