September 29, 2020

The Eruption of Mount Merapi That Altered The History of Java

History – Mount Merapi erupted again last November, accompanied by a smoke column as high as 1,000 meters from the summit and followed by a hot cloud glide. Merapi has a history of eruptions from time to time. One of which was the eruption of Merapi in 1006 AD. It is said to have altered the course of the history of Javanese civilization.

Merapi is the most active volcano in Indonesia. Located in Yogyakarta, this 2,968-meter high mountain is among the 16 most threatening volcanoes.

The eruption of Merapi in 1006 AD was said to be the most significant eruption. And at the same time, it sparked debate. Some believe the huge eruption holds many myths and legends have influenced the history of the great kingdom in Java. Although later it was denied by those who disagree.

Merapi Eruption in 1006 AD

Several factors led to the emergence of the number 1006, which in the inscriptions called pralaya (major disaster). It is related to the history of the eruption of Merapi. Hence, it is considered the truth.

One of them is the discovery of the Pucangan Inscription dating to 1041 AD. The inscription made by King Airlangga of the Kahuripan Kingdom. It revealed that a pralaya had occurred in the Ancient Mataram Kingdom in 1006 AD.

The Ancient Mataram Kingdom is also known as the Hindu Mataram Kingdom. It refers to the Medang Kingdom, expected to be centered around Yogyakarta, near Temanggung, Central Java.

Continuing Kern’s analysis, DH Labberton (1922) linked the possible causes of the collapse of the Ancient Kingdom of Mataram with volcanic events.

RW van Bemmelen supported Labberton’s estimate in his book The Geology of Indonesia (1949). Bemmebelen even concluded that the eruption in 1006 AD had resulted in the transfer of the Hindu Mataram Kingdom to East Java.

According to Bemmelen (1949), the Ancient Mataram Kingdom moved to the Jombang area in the era of Mpu Sindok.

To those who don’t know who Mpu Sindok is, he was the last king of the Kingdom of Mataram. He reigned from around 928 or 929 AD.

The Impact of the Eruption in 1006 AD

Scholars believed that he eruption to disturb the government. Even damaging the ancient Mataram civilization in Central Java. The cold lava eruption of Merapi made the Progo River blocked and formed the Gendol Hills located in the western part of Merapi.

The earthquake accompanied the movement and partially damaged the Borobudur and Mendut Temples that were built in the 9th century. This tectonic activity was followed by the eruption of Merapi.

Sambisari Temple located in Sleman, was also affected by this eruption. The Sambisari Temple complex was found to be 6,5 meters underground, which is nothing but a cold lava heap of Merapi.

The ground surface around the Sambisari Temple was previously thought to be no higher than where the temple was built. However, cold lava waves from the eruption of Merapi in 1006 AD, in the form of rock, eath, and sand, have filled the bathing complex. Around the temple, there are still many volcanic material stones.

According to the Office of Research and Archaeology Research Projects (1980), the construction of Sambisari Temple roughly took place in the second decade of the 9th century AD, or around two centuries before the eruption of Merapi in 1006 AD.

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At that time, the Sambisari region was a part of the ancient Mataram Kingdom. It was of the area of the Sanjaya Dynasty. The ancient Mataram King of Sanjaya descent who ruled during this period was Rakai Garung (828-864 AD).

The ancient Mataram Kingdom was later touted as being moved to East Java during the Mpu Sindok period due to the eruption of Merapi. However, later there was a rebuttal from other experts regarding the belief in this historical event.

One thought on “The Eruption of Mount Merapi That Altered The History of Java

  1. Howdy! This post couldn’t be written any better! Looking at this article reminds me of my previous roommate! He constantly kept talking about this. I will send this article to him. Pretty sure he will have a great read. I appreciate you for sharing!

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