Fourth Sarcophagus Found in Gianyar

GIANYAR ~ A fourth sarcophagus, thought to be 2,500 to 3,000 years old, was found on Wednesday in Subak Abang, Blahbatuh in Gianyar regency, an official said.

Since the first sarcophagus was found on land belonging to local resident A.A. Gede Rai two weeks ago, a further three have been uncovered by an excavation team from the Denpasar Center for Archaeology (Balar).

Head of Balar I Wayan Suantika said the four sarcophagi – usually a type of coffin fashioned from stone – had been found close to each other, two less than a meter apart, and the team suspected they might find at least another seven in the area.

Researcher on the team Ayu Kusumawati said they had found two types of sarcophagi, larger ones up to 90 centimeters long and smaller ones around 60 centimeters long, leading them to believe a family of adults and children had been buried there.

She said the skeletons in the larger sarcophagi were in good condition, but the smaller ones were broken and difficult to excavate.

Rai said that even though the sarcophagi were from an era previous to Hinduism arriving in Bali, he would be holding a ceremony to purify the land.

Data from Balar show a total of 13 sarcophagi have been found in the area since 1978.

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