Losari Temple, Indonesia (Part I)

The temple was buried under the very hard ground in the valley southwest of Merapi mountain. No one knows - at least until early 2004 - that there was a temple under the salak plantation in Losari village, even though the land where salak plantation is known as a bow-rice field temple. Perhaps the field would be the story that was told from generation to generation which was not meaningful if Muhammad Badri - owner of the land - did not find the temple stones in 2004.

When Muhammad Badri assisted by his neighbors were creating an irrigation channel to irrigate rice fields in the surrounding areas. They made a channel which was not too wide nor deep through the middle of his farm. In the middle of the digging, suddenly they found some pieces of temple stones. After they dug deeper, they found more stones. The digging finally reach the structure of a building that was still neatly arranged with a square hole in the middle of it. Muhammad Badri did not dare to work more.

The news about the discovery was heard by the research team of Archeology Center of Yogyakarta who had been doing a research in the temple of Singo Barong Site (Mantingan Site) in 2005 - 2 km northwest of the temple Losari site. Site hen reviewed, first team visited Muhammad Badri's house. When the teams were invited to the site, they knew that the stones in Muhammad Badri's house were the roof of the temple that was taken from the building structure. The structure of the building were still intact from the legs to the body temple. Only the roof that were already disclosed.

In 2006 there was a bid from a private foundation in Jakarta, the Tahija Foundation, to finance the activities of Archeology Research Center in Yogyakarta. Accidentally that time Losari temple site has not been proposed to be inspected, because of limited of government funds. And in fact there are many resources such as archaeological artifacts, sites, and areas that have not been examined and managed well because of limited funds, energy, and time. Therefore, the role of the private sector in research and management of archaeological resources may be one of the alternatives. Then Losari temple would be one of the proposed research when the bids from the private sector came.

January 2007 occurred cooperation Temple Losari research phase I of the Foundation with the Central Jakarta Tahija Archeology Yogyakarta. Tahija as the foundation of the funds, while the Archeology Center of Yogyakarta as the executor. In the implementation of the Archeology Research Center in Yogyakarta also involve experts from various other institutions, namely: Central Conservation ancient heritage of Central Java, Department of Archeology at the Faculty of Cultural Sciences Gadjah Mada University, Yogyakarta, Central Investigation and Development of Technology of Volcanology of Yogyakarta, and of course the Office of Culture and Tourism District Magelang.

In the phase I study conducted for 20 days, 15 boxes of excavation had been successfully opened. The excavation done with trench techniques by following-lane alley in the range of Salak tree. The use of trench technique that can be expected to reduce or minimize the damage of salak farm caused by the activities of excavation.

Research stage 1 only found a small temple which was estimated as the Perwara temple. The Perwara temple was excavated to 4 m depth from the surface. This temple is Hindu religious background, which appeared from the corner of the roof of temple decoration in the form of Ratna (gem). Hindu temples are usually comprised of a main temple, in front of it there are three perwara temples and is surrounded by fence. If the main temple facing east, then the perwara temple facing west, to the contrary, if the main temple facing west then the perwara temple facing east. The perwara temple that already found was facing west, so the possibility to the main temple was facing east. However, it was unknown the position of perwara temple. North, central or south? It was just one perwara temple found.
to be continued...

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