British maritime archaeologist Sean Kingsley recently revealed that it is possible that Srivijaya has been located, a mighty Asian kingdom with untold wealth that explorers have tried to find in vain long after its inexplicable demise around the 14th century.
Local fishermen, making night dives in the Musi River near the city of Palembang, on the Indonesian island of Sumatra, they found multiple valuable pieces– From a life-size 8th century Buddhist statue, encrusted with precious gems, to jewelry fit for kings, such as gold rings, earrings and necklaces, describe an article from Wreckwatch magazine.
In the shallow waters, different bronze and gold statuettes were also found, knockers with the demonic face of Kala, in Hindu legend the mythical head of Rahu that stirred the oceans to make an elixir of immortality. In addition, they discovered ceremonial rings of gold, which are studded with rubies and adorned with four-pointed vajra scepters, and exquisite gold sword hilts.
“In the last five years there have been extraordinary pieces. Coins from all ages, gold and Buddhist statues, gems, all kinds of things one could read in ‘Sinbad the Sailor’ [cuento tradicional árabe] and think that they are made up. But, it’s real “, declared Kingsley this Friday to The Guardian.
The expert described the find as definitive proof that Srivijaya was a “water world”, and that its inhabitants lived in the river like modern ship people, as recorded in ancient texts. But “when civilization ended, its wooden houses, palaces and temples sank along with all your assets. ”
The ‘Island of Gold’
As Kingsley explained, at its peak, the kingdom controlled the maritime arteries of the Silk Road, which connected China, Southeast Asia, the Indian subcontinent, the Arabian Peninsula, Somalia, Egypt and Europe.
“As the western Mediterranean world entered the Middle Ages in the 8th century, one of the world’s greatest kingdoms was breaking onto the map of Southeast Asia. For more than 300 years, the rulers of Srivijaya dominated the trade routes between the Middle East and Imperial China“explained the archaeologist, adding that the ‘Island of Gold'” became the international crossroads of the best products of the time “and” its rulers accumulated legendary wealth. “
It is unknown why the kingdom collapsed. Kingsley supposes that they may have been victims of the volcanoes of Indonesia, or probably the strong currents of the river ended “swallowing the whole city”.
“They are lost to the world”
The specialist stressed that if official excavations are not carried out, the evidence that could answer the questions will be lost. The treasures now simply recovered by fishermen sold before archaeologists can study them properly, and end up in the hands of collectors.
“They are lost to the world,” warned the archaeologist. “Newly discovered, the story of Srivijaya’s rise and fall is dying again untold,” he concluded.
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