maandag 4 april 2011

At the pursuit of Ādityavarman

Pariangan, the site of one inscription
Ādityavarman. This sole name led us to develop the Tanah Datar archaeological project. But who is the guy anyway? We actually know only very few things about him: he spent his early life in East Java, at the court of Majapahit, and founded a Hindu-Buddhist kingdom in the Sumatranese highlands.  Why and how this kingdom was born is still a mystery to historians, but we hope to be able soon to throw more light on it. The inscriptions he left in the Tanah Datar area constitute the earliest local testimony on the history of the region and the main source of information about this king. Hence, one of our main tasks has been to survey the area for inscriptions, so that they can be transcribed and translated in English – most of them for the first time. During two weeks, our epigraphic team (Sreymom, Sarann, Arlo and Budi) has been at the pursuit of Ādityavarman , photographing and making rubbings of the inscriptions identified during the survey. The rubbings, made on specially imported Korean paper and Chinese ink, will be kept at the office of the BP3 at Batusangkar and at the library of the EFEO in Jakarta. Together with the photos, they will allow epigraphists to have access to the inscriptions in their original scripts.
Arlo, Sreymon and Saran applying the paper on the stone
Sarann, hitting the stone and inking the paper

The final result