Ruins of the 17th Century Islamic Mataram Kingdom as well as pottery fragments have been found in Kedaton village in Pleret, Bantul regency, Yogyakarta, by the provincial cultural agency excavation team.
“The ruins are still intact. In the past, we have only found parts or pieces of such artifacts,” field coordinator Rully Andriadi told The Jakarta Post earlier this week.
Rully said the ruins were part of the Islamic Mataram Kingdom that was in existence from 1646 to 1677 in Pleret.
The excavation, on a 300-square-meter plot of land in a field among the residents’ houses, has been underway since May 1. The location, according to Rully, was chosen based on previous excavations carried out in 2009 and 2002.
The team found building foundations made of bricks and large white stones.
Some of the lower parts of the foundations were already damaged but newer construction was found on top of them. “We see that the building has an overlapping structure. This indicates that it might have been built at different times,” Rully said.
He estimated that the foundation belonged to a separate wall located in the inner yard of the complex as the team also found the foundation of another wall.
The team found another foundation structure but they could not continue digging because it was located beneath a resident’s house on the north part of the excavation site.
“The name of Kedaton village itself is derived from the word Kadatuan, which means a royal residence. However, we have not been able to locate where the Proboyekso [the king’s residence] was located,” Rully said.
Meanwhile, the pottery fragments found included one with a floral motif and two relatively intact potteries and a small fragment estimated to be Chinese.
Team member Henki Riko Pratama said the pottery findings indicate that the site was a residential compound. “We estimate the pottery was used by the people as daily appliances,” Henki said, adding that the Chinese-style ceramics might indicate interaction between the two nations.
Quoting historical records, Rully said that Pleret was the location of two Islamic Mataram kingdoms; one in Kerto and another in Kedaton. The one in Kerto was established by Sultan Hanyokrokusumo, the father of King Amangkurat I who later established the kingdom in Kedaton.
“After being crowned, Amangkurat I did not want to live in the kingdom built by his father and so he ordered his people to produce bricks to build a new kingdom in Kedaton,” Rully said.
The palace in Kedaton, he added, featured pools and an artificial lake in a location currently known as Segoroyoso village.
The kingdom was destroyed during an attack by Trunojoyo, a rebel from Kediri, East Java. It was vacated and Amangkurat I’s son, Amangkurat II, established another kingdom in Kartosuro, Central Java.
During the attack by Trunojoyo, according to Rully, the palace building was left intact, the rebels only destroyed the homes of noble families.
“It was the Dutch colonial administration that destroyed it because they needed the bricks to build a sugar factory in Kedaton in the 19th Century,” Rully said.
All the findings from the Kedaton sites are stored at the Prehistoric Museum in Pleret, where visitors can also see the iron estimated to have been left from the sugar factory built by the Dutch colonials.
Source: The Jakarta Post, Sat, May 11 2013