The Jakarta Post
Illustration of an ancient ceramic jar, an artifact found during archaeological excavations. (Shutterstock/Xolodan)
The Education and Culture Ministry has named Batujaya Temple complex in Karawang regency, West Java, an item of national cultural heritage. The government will now make an effort to better publicize the complex.
The declaration is stated in Education and Culture Ministerial Decree No.70/2019, signed by the minister, Muhadjir Effendy, on March. 11 in Jakarta.
“We just received the letter, and we will inform the public shortly,” Firman Sofyan, head of culture at the Karawang Tourism and Culture Agency said on Thursday as quoted by Tempo.co.
Prior to getting the recognition archaeologists carried out research at Batujaya Temple.
Firman said the temple was thought to have been built sometime in the fourth century.
He said the excavation of the temple site started in 1996. Since then, at least 62 temples have been discovered on the 50-hectare site.
“We also found menhirs and three ancient burial sites from the Buni culture, therefore we think the temple complex is special and eligible for national and even international recognition,” Firman said.
The Buni culture was a prehistoric clay pottery culture thought to have flourished in the coastal areas of northern and western Java. The culture is believed to date from 400 BC to 100 AD and probably survived until 500 AD. The Buni culture is presumed to be the roots of the Tarumanegara kingdom, one of the earliest Hindu kingdoms in the Indonesian archipelago.
After being recognized as a national treasure, the Karawang regency administration will propose the complex for recognition as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Firman added that the administration was working to improve the infrastructure and tourist facilities around the site. (gis/mut)