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Home >>History >>Minahasa Megaliths

Minahasa Megaliths

By: Santoso Sugondo

0. Preface
1. Distribution of Megaliths in the Minahasa
2. Waruga
3. Watu Tumotowa
4. Stone Mortars

5. Watu Pinawetengan
6. Stone Altars, stone slabs and Menhirs
7. Conclusion
8. Literature List

Preface

The Minahasa, a regency in the Province of North Sulawesi, is the only location in the eastern part of Indonesia where megaliths are found. There are megalith types found in this area such as Stone Coffins (Waruga), Menhirs (Watu-tumotowa), Lesung Batu (Lesung = mortar, Batu = stone), and Batu Bergores (Stones with inscriptions). Besides that there are other megalith types like, Menhir Statues, Batu Dakon (Batu = stone, Dakon = gameboard with gullies to put shells in) and Stone Altars. These discovered megaliths in North Sulawesi have already been researched by researchers like C.T. Bertling who wrote “De Minahasische Waruga en Hockerbestattung” in NION vol XVI year 1931, and C.I.J. Sluijk who wrote "Tekeningen op grafstenen uit de Minahasa". In 1976 Hadi Moeljono and friends researched waruga in various locations in the Minahasa and wrote about their findings in Berita Penelitian Arkeologi (BAP) No.3 year 1984. Furthermore the researchers of Pusat Penelitian Nasional Jakarta and from the Balai Arkeologi Manado already performed a series of researches on the megalithic objects involved from the year 1993 onwards until today.

A Megalith is a relic in the shape of an object or building (monument) from a culture that knew how to use large stones as material. This culture started to spread in Indonesia together with the spread of the Austronesian culture through migration of ethnic tribes that used the Austronesian language. The regions where this culture spread itself were amongst others: Korea, Japan, Formosa, China, Southeast Asia including Indonesia and up to the Pacific region. According to scientists there are two routes that megaliths used to spread to the region of Indonesia: via the western route that comes into the western part of Indonesia, and via the northern route coming into the eastern part of Indonesia. The Megalith culture in Indonesia left objects or buildings in the form of menhirs, dolmen, step terraces, stone coffins, stone statues, menhir statues, sarcophagi, stone slabs, inscribed stones, gameboards, stone altars etc.

Source: www.petra.ac.id


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