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Wonoboyo hoard

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Wonoboyo hoard

The replica of Wonoboyo hoard golden artifacts, displayed at Prambanan Museum. The real Wonoboyo hoard is in display at National Museum of Indonesia, Jakarta.

Wonoboyo hoard is an important archaeological find of golden and silver artifacts from the 9th century Medang Kingdom in Central Java, Indonesia. It was discovered in October 1990 in Plosokuning hamlet, Wonoboyo village, Klaten, Central Java, near Prambanan.[1][2]

Discovery

The hoard was discovered on 17 October 1990 in Plosokuning hamlet, Wonoboyo village, Klaten, Central Java, when a paddy field owned by Mrs. Cipto Suwarno was being dug by Witomoharjo and five other workers as part of an irrigation project.[1][2] After digging down 2.5 metres, Witomoharjo hit a hard surface that he thought was a stone. However, after digging further they unearthed three large terracotta jars containing large amounts of coins and gold artifacts. The discovery was reported to village authorities, and reached the attention of the Culture and Education Authority.

The treasure

Earliest evidence of a currency system in Java. Javanese gold mas or tahil ingot, cornseed-like coin circa 9th century.

The total weight of treasure was 16.9 kilograms of valuable artifacts, of which 14.9 kilograms were gold and 2 kilograms silver. It consists of more than 1,000 ceremonial objects, including:

  • a bulbous golden bowl carved with Ramayana scene
  • a Ramayana carved golden bowl
  • 6 golden lids
  • 3 golden water dippers
  • 1 tray
  • 97 golden arm bracelets
  • 22 small bowls
  • a pipe
  • a large Tang dynasty terracotta jar as the container [1]
  • 2 smaller jars
  • 11 golden rings
  • 7 plates
  • 8 golden earrings
  • a golden handbag
  • a golden keris handle or probably a parasol golden tip ornament
  • some beads
  • some cornseed-like golden coins [1]

In addition to the above artifacts there were more than 6,000 gold and silver coins.

The Wonoboyo hoard is displayed in Treasure Room in National Museum of Indonesia, Jakarta,[2] and a replica of the treasure is on display at the Prambanan museum. The hoard has also been exhibited in Australia.[2]

The Wonoboyo hoard is one of the most important archaeological findings in Indonesia. Next to the high value of the gold and silver artifacts, it also a significant to reveal the wealth, economy, art and culture of 9th century Javanese Medang Kingdom. The artifacts shows the intricate artworks, also displays the aesthetic and technical mastery of ancient Java goldsmith. On the surface of the gold coins engraved with a script "ta", a short form of "tail" or "tahil" a unit of currency in ancient Java. Also revealed the scripts "Saragi Diah Bunga" engraved in one of the treasure written in Kawi language, which probably was the name of the owner.[1] The hoard was estimated dated from the reign of King Balitung (899–911).[1] The treasure has been identified as belonging to a noble or the member of royal family.[2]

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f "Warisan Saragi Diah Bunga". Majalah Tempo. 3 November 1990. Retrieved 2010-07-21. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "Indonesian Gold" Treasures from the National Museum Jakarta, grafico-qld.com, accessed July 2010

Further reading

  • Miksic, John. N. Old Javanese gold Singapore : Ideation, c1990. ISBN 981-00-1622-0

External links

  • (Indonesian) Tempo: Warisan Saragi Diah Bunga
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