44,000-Year-Old Indonesian Cave Painting Is Rewriting the History of Art

These works had been known for years by locals on the island of Sulawesi, but it was assumed they weren’t that old. Scientists say they have found the oldest known figurative painting, in a cave in Indonesia. And the stunning scene of a hunting party, painted some 44,000 years ago, is helping to rewrite the[…]

An Indonesian Island Where the Dead Live with Their Loved Ones

“It is our Torajan culture. It is what we do.” By Tommy Trenchard and Aurélie Marrier d’Unienville As a host, 90-year-old Alfrida Lantong is somewhat passive. Lying resolutely on her back and gazing up through a pair of thick, dusty spectacles, she roundly ignores her son’s murmured greeting as he enters the room, and she[…]

Medieval Indonesia’s Buddhist Temple of Borobudur

Buddhists performed pilgrimages and other rituals at Borobudur until the temple was abandoned as many Javanese converted to Islam. By James Blake WienerHistorian Introduction The Temple of Borobudur or sometimes “Barabudur” is a Mahayana Buddhist temple located close to Muntilan on the island of Java in Indonesia. Built during the rule of the Sailendra Dynasty[…]

Medieval Indonesia’s Prambanan Hindu Temple

Despite its grandeur and rich exterior ornamentation, the Javanese abandoned Prambanan within 100 years of its completion around c. 950 CE. By James Blake WienerHistorian Introduction Prambanan (Javanese: Rara Jonggrang) is a Hindu temple complex dating from the 9th century CE located near Bokoharjo, on the island of Java in Indonesia. Prambanan is the largest[…]