Borobudur monument (Java, Indonesia) stood by a natural lake: Chronostratigraphic evidence and historical implications

H. Murwanto, Y. Gunnell*, S. Suharsono, S. Sutikno, F. Lavigne

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The ninth-century world-heritage Buddhist monument of Borobudur (Java, Indonesia) stands above the floor of a dried-out palaeolake, but it remains uncertain as to whether it was ever constructed on a lake shore. Here we reveal through new chronological and palaeoenvironmental data on the extant sediment record of the area that Borobudur intentionally stood by an existing lake. For the first time, evidence of this conjunction validates quite literally the debated cosmological interpretation of the edifice as an aquatic lotus symbol upon which Buddha is seated. The fluctuating life history of the lake spanned at least 20000 years.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)459-463
Number of pages5
JournalHolocene
Volume14
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2004
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Borobudur temple
  • Buddhist cosmogony
  • Environmental change
  • Indonesia
  • Lake chronostratigraphy
  • Volcanic sedimentology

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