Juli 14, 2014

Sriwijaya: A Tale of Two Rivers in Sumatra


THE KINGDOM of Sriwijaya (7th–13th century CE), one of the historical markers of a golden age in the Southeast Asian region, once had a huge influence on the lands covering present day Indonesia and large parts of insular and peninsular Southeast Asia. It played a central role in coastal trading, with its capitals, now known as Palembang and Jambi, in the southern part of Sumatra, Indonesia.

Sriwijaya was a symbol of early Sumatran greatness, as well as a great empire that counterbalanced the power of Java’s Majapahit empire in the east. In the modern 20th century nation-state of Indonesia, both empires were referenced by nationalist intellectuals in an argument for a pan-Indonesian identity and state pre-dating the Dutch colonial state. However, such claims regarding Sriwijaya remained controversial for a long time due to lack of solid archaeological evidence.

Starting in the 1990s, systematic archaeological research in South Sumatra brought to light ample evidence proving that Palembang had indeed been the first centre of the newly founded kingdom of Sriwijaya in the seventh century. Research findings by Malay and Thai archaeologists have also supported this argument.

This book takes readers on a journey to this lost kingdom. Based on a lifetime of study and research, the authors speculate on the origins and reasons behind each identified site, and describe how the kingdom of Sriwijaya functioned for hundreds of years, providing a timely revelation of its mysteries. This will be the first publication of a book that makes a global picture of Sriwijaya available to the general public.[]


Pierre-Yves Manguin & Soeroso, Sriwijaya: A Tale of Two Rivers in Sumatra, (Jakarta: BAB Publishing Indonesia, Forthcoming March 2015), pp. 332.

Source: BAB Books.

Related post:

>> Śriwijaya: Myth or Reality?

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