The Jakarta Post
Residents of Siwal village in Sukoharjo regency, Central Java, found a headless cow statue on Monday presumed to date back to the ancient Mataram era.
Local resident Walidi uncovered the statue when he was digging holes in the soil to plant banana trees in his neighbor’s yard.
“Then I called some neighbors to [help] lift the statue because it was very heavy. We needed eight people to lift the statue,” Walidi told The Jakarta Post on Tuesday.
The statue is around 1 meter long, 45 centimeters wide and 60 cm tall.
Siwal village secretary Yusuf said ancient artifact collectors had attempted to locate the statue a few years ago. Some people dug in several locations across the village but to no avail, until the statue was unearthed on Monday.
“We will coordinate with the village chief and relevant institutions for the handling of this ancient object,” Yusuf said.
Sukoharjo Culture and Tourism Agency head Siti Laila said her agency would register the statue and report it to the Yogyakarta Cultural Heritage Preservation Agency.
Sukoharjo cultural heritage analyst Bimo Kokor Wijanarko said the statue was assumed to be a relic of the Hindu Mataram kingdom. The statue depicts Lembu Andini, a sacred animal believed to be the carriage of Shiva, he added.
Bimo suspected the statue had been stolen before and then buried, because the head was missing.
“A lot of animal-shaped ancient relics were found headless. Maybe this is because the heads of statues are very valuable,” he said. (ami/ebf)
Ancient object: A headless cow statue is ready for inspection after being found by residents of Siwal village, Baki district, Sukoharjo regency, Central Java, on Jan. 8. The artifact is believed to be a relic of the Hindu Mataram era. (JP/Ganug Nugroho Adi)