Batang, Central Java (ANTARA) - The National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN) is collaborating with French archaeologist Veronique de Groot to study a recently unearthed brick temple site in Batang Industrial Zone, Sawangan village, Batang district, Central Java.

According to joint research conducted by BRIN and the archaeologist, the brick temple structure is estimated to have been built in the seventh century, acting head of Batang district, Lani Dwi Rejeki, informed.

"Veronique de Groot has informed and expounded the discovery of a brick temple in Sawangan village (to us)," Rejeki said here on Friday.

She said that the ancient temple was discovered when the staff of state-owned PT Perkebunan Nusantara IX cleared the land for the development of Batang Industrial Zone.

According to the BRIN presentation, the brick temple site dates back to the ancient pre-Mataram kingdom era, she noted.

"We will inform the site discovery with relevant institutions and the Batang Industrial Zone for follow-up actions," the acting district head said.

Meanwhile, head of BRIN’s archaeology team, Agusti Janto Indrajaya, said that the discovery of the temple ruins came as a surprise for the Indonesian people, with the archaeological evidence indicating that the site was the oldest in Central Java.

"Turns out, the brick temple (in Batang Industrial Zone) was constructed before the ancient Mataram kingdom era in the seventh century. Could be said that (the site) is the oldest in Central Java," he remarked.

He confirmed the acting district head's statement that the temple was discovered when the site was cleared for the industrial zone.

"That is our indication to continue the excavation to map and seek other structures. The temple was found at a shallow place, not even a meter down the soil surface," Indrajaya said.

The archaeologist added that the temple was discovered as a 16 x 16 meter structure with a single door opening.

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Translator: Kutnadi, Nabil Ihsan
Editor: Sri Haryati
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