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 templeâ€™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 â€˜posseâ€™ of archaeologists â€” roped off from the general swirl of activity â€” 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..