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Digging Up Baliís Past

Ancient Temple Discovered in Residential Area of Denpasar May Be Largest Ancient Temple in Eastern Indonesia

(11/1/2012) The foundations of an ancient temple has been unearthed in the yard of the Balinese priest, Ida Resi Bujangga Wesnawa Ganda Kesuma, on Jalan Trengguli Gang IV D in the Penatih area of Denpasar.

A research team of Denpasar-based archaeologists is estimating the temple dates from the 14th century.

As reported by Kompas.com, the discovery of the temple occurred when the land’s owner was attempting to create a water run-off area. While excavating the land, workers discovered 21 large blocks of stone.

The discovery was subsequently reported by the land’s owner to the Denpasar Archaeological Agency on October 14, 2012. Subsequent visits by a team of archaeologists uncovered large foundation stones measuring 1.2 meters each.

Officials have now excavated an area 11 meters long and 1.5 meters deep revealing in the process the foundations of what may prove to be the largest ancient temple yet discovered in Bali or any of the islands to the east. Experts, who have yet to discover the full extent of the buried foundations, have also found a separate site 40 meters away from the original discovery that may form part of the same temple structure.

Experts also see the stone foundations discovered as distinctive in style and composition for archeological sites in Bali linked to temples built in the 15th under the Majapahit dynasty.

Authorities now speculate that the aboveground elements of the temple were removed during the Japanese occupation of Bali in the 1940s.

Experts continue to investigate the site while discussing whether or not the location should be declared a protected historical site.