The oldest megalithic civilization traces – in Lore-Lindu

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Kalamba Megalitic at Tadaluko site in Palu valley has a picture of alien motif. (photo: Gorontalo Cultural Heritage Conservation Center Doc.)

IO – Humans in the past could not work metal. They made all their furniture from what they could obtain from the natural surroundings, such as wood, leaves, bones, animal skins, but also from stone.

Relics of large stones in the form of monuments (menhir), stone vessels (kalamba), stone tables (dolmen), stone coffins (sarcophagus), or stepped terraces (punden) are proof not easily ignored, revealing the existence of civilizations hundreds and tens of centuries ago in various places.

One of the oldest megalithic (huge stone) cultural sites in Indonesia can be seen in the Lore-Lindu Cultural Heritage area in Central Sulawesi. Here between 67 to 83 sites have been found thus far.

Results of a carbon dating test of the megalithic relics scattered in the Lore region indicate that the age of this culture is in the range of 2000 BC, while the results of research based on the findings of human skeletal bones in one of the burial jars in Beheki Valley site of Behoa shows remains estimated to be around 2351-1416 BC a people who later became extinct at around 1452-1527 AD.

The relics of the megalithic era are spread over more than 200 thousand hectares in the Lore Lindu National Park area in Poso Regency and Sigi Regency, Central Sulawesi, an area characterized by lowland rain forest and mountain rain forest.

In Sigi Regency, the area that has a megalithic distribution is known by the name Lindu, while in Poso Regency, it is known as the Lore region where the findings are distributed in three valleys, namely, Napu Valley, Behoa Valley, and Bada Valley.

The megalithic findings are in the form of stone vessels (kalamba), burial jars, statues, menhirs, mortar stones, stone trays, stepped terraces, as well as fences/ fortresses.

From a historical aspect, the presence of the Lore-Lindu region’s cultural preservation is considered to have made a very significant contribution to the knowledge of the development of Austronesian-speaking migrants who theoretically entered the archipelago through the Sulawesi region (north lane) and were known as the ancestors of the Indonesian people.

At present the Lore-Lindu cultural heritage area is being prepared to be submitted to the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as a world heritage site.

Head of Gorontalo Cultural Preservation Center (BPCB) handling Sulawesi region Zakaria Kasimin is targeting at least five years for this region to be ready to be nominated for the list of World Heritage Sites found in Indonesia.

This means it can complement eight sites that are now world heritage, namely, four natural sites, Komodo National Park, Ujung Kulon, Lorentz, and the Tropical Rainforest of Sumatra, as well as four cultural sites, Borobudur Temple, Prambanan, Sangiran ancient human site, and Subak in Bali.

Moreover, the findings of prehistoric stone vessels at this site are quite rare in the world, and only found in limited numbers such as the “Plain of Jars” in Laos that have been included in the tentative list of nominations for world cultural heritage.

Plus, from research results, this region with an area of ​​more than 200 thousand hectares could be the largest distribution in Southeast Asia compared to the famous legacy in Laos. (Mahra)