The Jakarta Post
The government is set to build a volcano archaeology study center from which people can get information about the history of temples buried by Mount Merapi in Yogyakarta, a culture conservation official has said.
'People can learn from the study center that Mt. Merapi's eruptions have had an impact on local communities since thousands of years ago,' Wahyu Astuti, the head of cultural heritage protection, development and exploitation division at the Cultural Heritage Preservation Agency (BPCB) Yogyakarta, told thejakartapost.com, on Tuesday.
She said the government planned to build the volcano archaeology study center on the Kedulan Temple complex in Kedulan village, Tirtomartani, Sleman.
Kedulan Temple, a Hindu temple which is around 7 meters high and covers an area of 144 square meters, was built around 9 AD. The temple which has three 'perwara' or literary means 'companion' temples on its east side is located around 25 kilometers in southern side of Mt.Merapi.
Kedulan Temple was buried under 15 layers of volcanic materials around 5.5 meters deep when a sand miner discovered it in 1993. Chunks of hardened lava were found in the site after the temple was excavated.
'In Yogyakarta, there are many temples buried under Mt. Merapi's volcanic materials. One of which is Sambisari Temple. This temple had been equipped with a retaining wall to protect it from volcanic materials from the volcano. Still, it was buried by an eruption,' said Wahyu.
She said that at the volcano archaeology information center, Indonesian people could learn to not just submit to their fate when a natural disaster occurred.
She further explained that people could now learn about the impacts of Mt. Merapi's eruptions at the study center. For example, at the site visitors could see a car and motorcycle that were destroyed by pyroclastic clouds which engulfed Kinahrejo, a village where Mbah Maridjan, who was believed to be the spiritual guardian of Mt.Merapi, used to live. Mbah Maridjan was killed in the 2010 eruption, she added.
Wahyu went on to say that at the Kedulan Temple complex, people could learn about different types of artifacts, cultures, and various ancient civil engineering techniques, as well as about the geological conditions of previous eras.
She said construction of the volcano archaeology center was expected to start in 2019. (ebf)(+++)