Monday, March 01, 2010

Sumatra site may have oldest megaliths, relief

A new megalithic discovery in South Sumatra has been tentatively dated to 5000 BCE along with a relief showing a woman along with two children riding an elephant, and people under attack by crocodiles and snakes.

If the dating is confirmed, this will be the oldest megalithic site and the oldest relief found in Southeast Asia. Possibly also the earliest evidence suggesting the use of tamed elephants.

Although there is no identification of the culture involved mentioned in the article, the period of 5000 BCE would fit into Wilhelm Solheim's suggested chronology for the dispersion of the Nusantao. The latter people used megaliths especially dolmens according to Solheim.

Megalithic site found in South Sumatra

Wed, 02/17/2010 2:13 PM | The Archipelago

PALEMBANG, South Sumatra: A megalithic settlement has recently been unearthed at Skendal village, 10 kilometers from the town of Pagaralam in South Sumatra.

Irfan Wintarto, an official at the Lahat Culture and Tourism Agency's Historical and Archeological Preservation Department, said local residents had discovered around 36 types of rocks on a 150-by-300-meter plot in the middle of a 2-hectare coffee plantation. The site is currently being investigated by the Archeological Region Conservation and Heritage Center (BPPP).

"The findings are believed to date back to around 5,000 B.C.," Irfan said.

"The types of rocks and megaliths found are quite diverse."

Among the items are a mortar and a 1-by-1.3-meter relief showing a woman riding an elephant with two children, and people being attacked by crocodiles and large snakes, as well as several altars believed to have been used for offerings. - JP

Paul Kekai Manansala