Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Statues and Temple Ruins Discovered in Malaysia

Unless I missed it, I didn't see any indication of age assigned to these statues, but they seem an exciting find nonetheless: From The Jakarta Globe Online January 06, 2010 Ari Adji Sacred Statue Uncovered at Site of Ancient Hindu Temple in Yogyakarta A statue of Nandi, the sacred bull that carried the Hindu god Shiva, was discovered on Wednesday among the ruins of what is believed to be an ancient temple at an excavation site in Yogyakarta. Indung Panca Putra, the head of the excavation team from the Yogyakarta Antiquities and Relics Conservation Agency, said the discovery of the statue, which in Hindu mythology is said to embody sexual energy and fertility, meant that the team would now continue its work until Jan. 20. A previous deadline for the excavation work had been set for Jan. 6. “The statue is exquisite,” Indung said. “The sculpture is carved differently from other statues of Nandi. This one is not depicted as fat.” Previous discoveries at the site, which is located on the Indonesian Islamic University campus, include a statue of Ganesha, Shiva’s divine son; a linga , the symbol of worship for Shiva; and a yoni , a Hindu symbol for divine passage or birth. “We strongly believe the temple had a roof and its pillars were made of wood or bamboo,” Indung said. He said archeologists were working under the assumption that the pillars had not been destroyed by a volcanic mudflow hundreds of years ago, but had instead been removed by people. Indung said that the temple ruins were different from other temples found in Central Java. “We have compared what we have found to what was found in the temples of Sambisari, Gebang and Kedulan. The comparisons have led us to believe that the material used for the temple and its statues were much harder and the sculptures are far more refined,” Indung said. The first discovery at the site, the Ganesha statue on Dec. 21, was made when the university was preparing to lay foundations for a new library. Indung said excavation machines uncovered rocks five-meters deep that resembled an ancient building complex. The conservation team, consisting of four archaeologists and four engineers, has been working ever since to find other statues. For security reasons, the campus has had to install a fence around the dig site. The archaeological find is considered vulnerable to theft, considering the historical value of the temple.

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