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History of Padang Lawas

History of Padang Lawas

I. The site of Si Pamutung (9th century - 13th century AD)

Daniel Perret & Heddy Surachman
2014, Archipel, Cahier d'Archipel, 517p., 

For the last century and a half, the name of Padang Lawas, in the present province of North Sumatra, Indonesia, has been associated with a number of isolated Hindu-Buddhist remains located in the middle of the island. These remains are all the more remarkable because they form the largest Indianized archaeological complex yet to be seen in the northern half of Sumatra.
This book is the latest contribution to the accumulation of knowledge on the ancient history of Padang Lawas. The fifteen studies brought together here present the main results of the archaeological research programme conducted from 2006 until 2010 by the École française d’Extrême-Orient in cooperation with the Indonesian National Centre for Archaeological Research. This programme was focused on one of the sites known in this region, namely Si Pamutung, presently located near the confluence of the Barumun and Batang Pane Rivers.
These contributions are devoted firstly to the directly visible features of Si Pamutung, namely its environmental setting and its Hindu-Buddhist remains made of brick and stone.
A second set of studies examines the results of surveys and excavations conducted on this site, which covers an area of approximately 80 hectares. It includes the findings of a GPR survey, a still pioneering technique for archaeological research in Sumatra. A contribution on structures, features and stratigraphies offers a detailed report of the excavations conducted in 28 different sectors covering more than 1,000 m². A study of the distribution of some 13,000 precisely dated Chinese shards offers an outline of the spatial evolution of occupation between the mid-ninth century and the end of the thirteenth century AD.
The third set comprises ten papers providing a comprehensive catalogue of the material. More than a thousand finds are described, including earthenware, Chinese stoneware and porcelain, glass, metal, lithic material and faunal remains. It is supplemented by the results of laboratory analyses on sixteen earthenware samples and ninety-six glass samples.
These archaeological investigations bring new perspectives on the economic, religious, cultural and social dimensions of the Si Pamutung site, which reveals itself as a real
proto-urban site.

ISBN : 978-2-910513-69-6

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