Dream leads miner to 'artifacts'

A dream leads an Indonesian man to unearth a one-metre tall statue of Brahma in East Java, leading to frenzied excavations in the area for more artifacts. There is a shade of doubt over the finds, however, as some are suspected to be counterfeit to fuel the village economy.

2 March 2007 (Jakarta Post) – A dream leads an Indonesian man to unearth a one-metre tall statue of Brahma in East Java, leading to frenzied excavations in the area for more artifacts. There is a shade of doubt over the finds, however, as some are suspected to be counterfeit to fuel the village economy.

Jakarta Post, 2 Mar 2007

Dream leads miner to ‘artifacts’

The pointed end of Maksum’s pickax stuck in the ground when it hit a hard object, a stone. Maksum, a resident of Besuk in Kediri regency, East Java, missed a beat.

“Everything I had seen in my dream has come true. There is something under the ground,” Maksum said in retelling the story of his discovery to The Jakarta Post.

Slowly, the 48-year-old Maksum dug deeper with both hands round the hard object. The original shape of the stone, which later revealed itself to be that of a crown, began to emerge.

“I immediately called my friends and asked them to help me. Shortly afterwards, we saw it was a statue with four heads. It was the statue of the god Brahma,” he said.

This discovery, which took place on Jan. 20 at about 5 p.m., remains fresh in the mind of Maksum. And with it, the sand miner proved the truth behind the spiritual guidance he received in a dream.

The statue of Brahma was thus excavated from its earth-bound tome. Standing a meter tall, the statue depicts Brahma meditating in the lotus position atop a square base. The four heads of Brahma face the four cardinal directions, and royal ornaments adorn its crown, throat, torso, and arms. A kettle is carved to the left of the statue.

The statue’s discovery has prompted the search for other artifacts, and local residents continued digging at the site where the statue had been found.

In less than a month, several other statues were also unearthed. The statue of Lembu Andini, or Nandi, was discovered to the south of the Brahma statue. Another statue, of the goddess Durga Mahesa Sura Mandini, was found lying to the east of Lembu Andini.

“We have also discovered a rectangular lingga (phallus) statue at a point of some distance from the rest of the statues,” Maksum added.

The discovery of a number of these statues in Kediri has prompted the Trowulan Center for the Rescue of Archeological Relics (BP3) to study the artifacts. BP3 has sent a research team to the site of the discovery for reconstruction and further excavation. This research will also prove the authenticity of the statues, which some believe to be counterfeits.


Related Books:
Early Kingdoms of the Indonesian Archipelago and the Malay Peninsula by P. M. Munoz
Hindu-Buddhist Architecture in Southeast Asia (Studies in Asian Art and Archaeology, Vol 19) by D. Chihara
Art of Indonesia: Pusaka
Pusaka, art of Indonesia

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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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