Excavation at Indonesian megalithic site draws criticism

An excavation at the Gunung Padag megalithic site has drawn criticism for its excavation methods by the local archaeology centre. The excavation is being run by an independent team of researcher, who according to the report, have “unlimited” funding.

Archaeologists slam excavation of Gunung Padang site
Jakarta Post, 30 September 2014

Bandung Archaeological Center head Desril Riva Shanti has taken issue with the excavation process being carried out at Gunung Padang megalithic site in Cianjur regency, West Java, adding the process had not followed standard methods that were usually applied in archaeological projects.

“I’ve yet to go to the site but I can judge it from photographs. An archaeological excavation method shouldn’t have been carried out in that way,” Desril said on Monday.

She said an archaeological excavation should be carried out in stages and at a slow pace, by using tools smaller than a hoe.

Based on observations by The Jakarta Post, a number of Indonesian Military (TNI) soldiers had used hoes in the excavation at eastern and western parts of Gunung Padang, until the inner part of the site appeared.

Full story here.

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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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