Construction in Jakarta destroys artefacts

18th century artefacts from Indonesia’s Dutch colonial have been destroyed due to construction work in the Old Town area of Jakarta.

14 July 2007 (Jakarta Post) – 18th century artefacts from Indonesia’s Dutch colonial have been destroyed due to construction work in the Old Town area of Jakarta.

Old Town site excavation ruins artifacts

Excavation during the construction of a pedestrian tunnel in Old Town, West Jakarta, has destroyed artifacts and hampered historical analysis, an archaeologist said Thursday.

“The cultural and museum agency should have been informed about the excavation at the Old Town site… a permit should have been sought before the project began,” University of Indonesia professor of archaeology Mundardjito said.

“Digging beneath a historical site without an excavation permit is illegal,” he said.

Late last year, workers who were excavating at the Old Town site — to make way for a western entrance to the pedestrian tunnel in front of Bank Mandiri Museum — found an old tram track, timber poles, terra-cotta pipes and a thick brick and andesite wall.

A preliminary analysis carried out by the agency’s archaeological team revealed the wall position did not match that of the old city wall.

Read more about the excavations at Old Town.

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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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