Join us on a journey into the Minangkabau highlands in West Sumatra.
Follow the work of an international team of archaeologists, learn about their findings and the history of the region.

Friday, 2 March 2012

The construction site

When an archaeological site becomes a construction site!

Our first inspection of the site today turned out to be quite a surprise. To our astonishment several parts of Bukit Gombak have be utilised to construct buildings or build vehicle tracks. Luckily the areas now disturbed or covered were excavated last year so that the initial worries were taken slightly. Still, this 'invasion' of concrete, bricks, steel and the inevitable construction machines is an unsettling development, especially when considering what may have happened in the last 12 months. 

Much of the bush and grass covering large parts of the site and its surrounding hills has been cut or burnt, which is an advantage when considering the need to clear areas for excavation, but also substantiates a further incursion on the previous topography of the area and therefore possibly those of historic relevance.

Nevertheless, the first assessment of the site was an exciting visit for both the new team members as for those returning to the team, including a climb through thick jungle to the top of Bukit Kincir, the neighboring hill where excavations will also continue and possibly be extended this season. In the eastern part where work will also soon be resumed several interesting large stones, most definitely placed there intentionally, were discovered. Tomorrow the team will begin working with the Totalstation and GPS in order to place the trenches and upgrade the topographic plan.

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