Scenes from the Candi Kimpulan excavation in Yogyakarta

Stranger in Paradise, the diary of an expat in Bali, has a feature on the the recent excavations at the Candi Kimpulan site at Universitas Islam Indonesia.

Buried Treasure and Hindu-Balinese Crusades
Stranger in Paradise, March 2010

Twenty metres into the site my jaw drops: I spy a largish crater, inside which is nestled a pristine tenth-century stone temple. On the temple’s floor is a Ganesha statue, still half-buried (to deter the thieves); the rest of the small walled temple court is completely exposed, and looks brand new.
Javanese workers convey baskets of volcanic soil up rough stairs. A ‘posse’ of archaeologists — roped off from the general swirl of activity — sit on a large woven mat surrounded by boxes of biscuits, kretek cigarette packs, floor plans and other tricks of the trade.
After a tour of the site, which includes a good look at the excellent information board for the public, I am invited to sit with the experts and swap tales.
It is an exhilarating hour and I learn much about Central and East Javanese candi and the ancient Hindu cultures that spawned them..


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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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