Wow! There is an Ancient Boat in Rembang, Older than Borobudur Temple


The ancient boat in Punjulharjo Village, Rembang District, Rembang Regency, Central Java is again making a scene. The boat is estimated to be older than Borobudur Temple.

The boat is thought to date from the 7th century. Meanwhile, Borobudur Temple was built around 800 AD.

Now, the ancient boat is designated as one of the objects of cultural heritage.

Ubadilah, the secretary of Punjulharjo Village, said the ancient boat was found in 2008. The discovery began when a resident’s plantation land was to be turned into a salt pond because it was deemed less productive.

“During the excavation process to be used as a salt pond, one of the workers accidentally found buried wood. When we tried to dig deeper and wider the wood formed a boat,” said Ubadilah when met at the location, Tuesday (08/2/2022).

Ubadilah explained that the finding certainly caused a commotion. By the village government the ancient ship was reported to the relevant agencies. Until finally the Archaeological Heritage Preservation Center intervened to follow up on the findings.

“Even a researcher from France, Prof. PY Manguin, participated in researching the findings of the boat. After examining the wood, the wood is from the type of ironwood which is commonly found in Java, Sumatra and Kalimantan,” he said.

“After that it was tested for carbon in the United States. The result was that the wood was made around the 7th century AD. Older than the age of Borobudur Temple,” Ubadilah added.

An ancient boat site in Punjulharjo Village, Rembang District, Rembang Regency. (Febrian Chandra/detikcom)

When it was first discovered, the condition of the boat’s wood was very rotten because it absorbed too much water. Hence, there were concerns when moving.

“Finally, this ancient boat remains here, to be cared for and researched. Meanwhile, the land where this discovery was made, has been replaced with profit by the government. The land is no longer owned by individuals,” he said.

The location was also carried out sustainable conservation in stages from 2011 to 2018. The condition of the ancient boat wood at that time was considered to have been submerged in the wetlands for a very long time, resulting in damaged wooden cell walls and filled with water.

If dried normally will cause the material to shrink and break in an extreme way. That’s why an appropriate conservation action is needed.

An ancient boat site in Punjulharjo Village, Rembang District, Rembang Regency.An ancient boat site in Punjulharjo Village, Rembang District, Rembang Regency. (Febrian Chandra/detikcom)

In 2011, soaking was carried out with a solution of polyethylene glycol (PEG). Namely, a reinforcing material that will replace the water contained in the wood cells.

Thus, after the drying process the wood does not shrivel and is stronger. This step is carried out in stages until the condition is considered strong.

In 2012 the pre-conservation stage began to be prepared. The conservation process itself is carried out by constructing a tidal levee and a safety embankment.

In a separate interview, the Custodian of the Ancient Boat Site, M Ihsan, said that every day this ancient boat site needs to be cleaned. Cleaning is done using a brush.

“Every day it is cleaned of dust and sea breezes that contain salt. The method is to brush it slowly,” said Ikhsan, who has been working since 2009.

Ihksan recalled the early discovery of this boat, there was a mass spectacle in the past. Because, the news that spread at that time, the ship Dampo Awang has been found.

“(Words got out) The Dampo Awang ship was found, a lot of people came here. To the extent that people who wanted to watch were charged a levy,” he said.

Not only that, the water contained in the boat is believed to cure various diseases.

“In fact, after surgery, some people can’t walk. Then they come here and bring the water home. Then they get better. Even today, on certain days, this place is used as a place for rituals,” he explained.

Now, the site of the ancient boat has been handed over to the Rembang Regency Government. Every month nearly 500 people visit the site of the ancient boat.

The place is now well laid out. This ancient boat now feels under a solid building. The boat with a length of 17 meters and a width of 5 meters is also surrounded by an iron fence to protect it from ignorant hands.

Watch Videos “Visiting 7th Century Ancient Boat Findings in Rembang
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