Excavations in the Football Field Sector

Prepared by Team Projek Dieng 2010, Jurusan Arkeologi, Fakultas Ilmu Budaya, and Universitas Gadjah Mada. Translated by Goh Geok Yian and John N. Miksic. Editors: Mahirta Sasongko, Goh Geok Yian, Widya Nayati, and John N. Miksic

Based on the results of a survey conducted together with Prof. Dr. John Miksic and Dr. Goh Geok Yian on 3 June 2010, another site was chosen, where the height of the ground surface indicated that it had not been disturbed by human activity. The location consisted of higher ground which had not been excavated previously for fill because it was used as a footpath near a football field. Remains of ruined structures or collections of temple stones which had not yet been excavated could be seen protruding from the surface. The land surface of the undisturbed land lay about 15 cm below the elevation of the modern road.

Excavation sites in the Football Field Sector
Excavation sites in the Football Field Sector
Photo 17 Football Field: approximate location of 1982 profile, near the person wearing a red sweater.
Photo 17 Football Field: approximate location of 1982 profile, near the person wearing a red sweater.

Two groups of test pits were laid out near the football field, TP1 and TP2.

Group TP1 consisted of units TP1, TP1.1 (EXT), TP 1.2 (EXT), TP1.3 (EXT), TP1.4 (EXT), and TP1.5 (EXT). Group TP2 consisted of TP2, TP2.1, and TP2.2.

Map 2 Layout of TP1
Map 2 Layout of TP1

Soil Profiles

Unit TP1

Unit TP1 was located on the edge of an area which had apparently not been recently disturbed by human activity, near the area where Prof. Miksic remembered having seen a profile including ninth-century imported ceramics created by removal of earth used to build the footpath from the museum area to the Candi Arjuna complex in 1983. Unit TP1 measured 1x1m. It was excavated by spits to a depth of 1 meter below SDP. In this square Changsha ceramics were found for the first time, in addition to dense finds of unglazed earthenware. In spit 3, black loam, finds were relative dense including a Changsha sherd and 7 earthenware sherds. In spit 4 one earthenware fragment was found.

Photo 18 TP1 prior to excavation
Photo 18 TP1 prior to excavation
Photo 19 Tang stoneware jar sherd in situ, TP1
Photo 19 Tang stoneware jar sherd in situ, TP1
Photo 20. Profile of TP1 with temple stones protruding from left (south) face
Photo 20. Profile of TP1 with temple stones protruding from left (south) face
Photo 21 TP1 Spit 1 No 1   Yue type ware
Photo 21 TP1 Spit 1 No 1 Yue type ware
Photo 22 TP1 Spit 2 No 1 Purplish stoneware
Photo 22 TP1 Spit 2 No 1 Purplish stoneware
Photo 23 TP1: Spit 3 No 2 White Porcelain
Photo 23 TP1: Spit 3 No 2 White Porcelain
Photo 24 TP 1 Spit 3 No 1 Green-Glazed Jar
Photo 24 TP 1 Spit 3 No 1 Green-Glazed Jar
Photo 25 TP1 Spit 1 No 2 Coarse Red Ware
Photo 25 TP1 Spit 1 No 2 Coarse Red Ware
Photo 26 TP1.1 Spit 2 No 3
Photo 26 TP1.1 Spit 2 No 3
Photo 27 TP1 Spit 2 No 4
Photo 27 TP1 Spit 2 No 4
Photo 28 TP1 Spit 2 No 2
Photo 28 TP1 Spit 2 No 2

Since the location of this test pit demonstrated potential to yield more ancient foreign ceramics, the test pit was extended by excavating unit TP 1.1.

Unit TP 1.1(EXT)

Unit TP1.1 constituted an extension of TP1 in a southerly directly (see site plan). This unit measured 1x1m. Ground cover consisted of grass. The soil was friable. This unit was also excavated to a depth of 1m from SDP in corner T1 of unit TP1.

Table of Finds in Unit TP 1.1(EXT)

Photo 29 TP1.1 Spit 3 No 2
Photo 29 TP1.1 Spit 3 No 2
Photo 30 TP1.1 Spit 3 No 1
Photo 30 TP1.1 Spit 3 No 1
Photo 31 TP1.1 Spit 4 No 1
Photo 31 TP1.1 Spit 4 No 1
Photo 32 TP1.1 Spit 4 No 4
Photo 32 TP1.1 Spit 4 No 4
Photo 33 TP1.1 Spit 4 No 3
Photo 33 TP1.1 Spit 4 No 3
Photo 34 TP1.1 Spit 2 No 1
Photo 34 TP1.1 Spit 2 No 1
Photo 35 TP1.1 Spit 4 No 2
Photo 35 TP1.1 Spit 4 No 2
Photos 36, 37 Earthenware Fragments Found in Unit TP1.1Photos 36, 37 Earthenware Fragments Found in Unit TP1.1
Photos 36, 37 Earthenware Fragments Found in Unit TP1.1

Soil in spit 1 was mixed with grass roots. In spit 2 (at a depth of 50 cm below SDP) 7 earthenware and 1 stoneware sherd were found. Soil in this layer was brownish black. In spit 3 (75 cm below SDP) finds were denser: 15 earthenware and 3 foreign sherds. In spit 4 (100 cm below SDP) 11 earthenware, 2 stoneware, and 2 foreign sherds (the latter possibly porcelain) and a cluster of bamboo charcoal were found.

Unit TP1.2 (Ext)

Unit TP1.2 (ext) represents a southward extension of unit TP1 (see sketch map). As in the two previous units, there were no sherds on the grass-covered surface. In spit 1 (25 cm below SDP) were 9 earthenware and 1 foreign sherds in brownish black soil, consisting of humus. In spit 2 (50 cm below SDP) were 2 earthenware sherds. Spit 3 (75 cm below SDP) yielded 31 earthenware, 10 foreign high-fired sherds, and one sherd of glazed earthenware. Soil in spit 3 was humus, black and friable. Spit 4 (100 cm below SDP) yielded 9 earthenware and 1 foreign sherds. A small quantity of charcoal was found in spit 4.

FINDS IN UNIT TP 1.2 (EXT)

SQUARE TP 1.3 (EXT)

Unit TP1.3 (ext) was a westerly extension of unit TP1.2 (ext) (see sketch map). Spit 1 (25 cm below SDP) was sterile. In spit 2 (50 cm below SDP) 5 earthenware sherds and a small quantity of charcoal appeared. In spit 3 (75 cm below SDP) 16 earthenware and 9 foreign sherds appeared. An interesting find in spit 3 was a fragment of glass. In spit 4 2 earthenware sherds were found.

Table of finds TP1.3 (EXT) (spit 3)

UNIT TP 1.4 (EXT)

Because the units of TP1 continued to show potential for yielding 9th-century remains, including ancient foreign ceramics, the excavation was extended further northward. The surface before excavation was covered with grass. No surface remains were found. Spit 1 (25 cm from SDP) yielded 3 earthenware and 1 glazed earthenware sherd. The soil of spit 1 consisted of humus. In spit 2 (50 cm below SDP) were found 6 earthenware and one foreign sherd, and a small amount of charcoal. Soil in spit 2 was somewhat loose. Spit 3 (75 cm below SDP) yielded 10 earthenware and 5 stoneware sherds. Soil was brownish black and loamy. Spit 4 (100 cm below SDP) was sterile. Soil was black loam.

TABLE OF FINDS TP 1.4 (EXT)

TP 1.5 (EXT)

This extension unit was laid out west of Unit TP1. Like the other extension units in this sector, this unit was selected because of its potential to yield ancient ceramics contemporary with the construction of the temples on the plateau. The unit was excavated to a depth of 100 cm from the secondary datum point (spit 4). Below is the vertical distribution of finds.

Finds in Unit TP 1.5 (EXT)

Supported by an incentive grant from the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Nanyang Technological University; by the Archaeology Unit, Nalanda-Sriwijaya Centre, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies; and by Jurusan Arkeologi, Fakultas Ilmu Budaya, and Universitas Gadjah Mada. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Nanyang Technological University, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, nor Universitas Gadjah Mada.