Rembang Regency is a district that is rich in historical heritage. One of them is an ancient boat located in Punjulharjo village, Rembang district. In that place, there is the site of an ancient boat which is thought to have come from the 7th to 8th century AD.
This period (7th-8th century AD) is estimated to be contemporaneous with the early development of the ancient Mataram kingdom in Java and the beginning of the Srivijaya kingdom.
The ancient Punjulharjo boats were made using the tying board and ear binding techniques, a boat-building tradition common in archipelagic Southeast Asia from the early centuries AD until around the 13th century AD.
The material used for binding is dominated by palm fiber, besides that, bonds using rattan are also found. The results showed that the boat board came from the Sapotaceae tribe, Palaquim genus, Palaquim species. sp, otherwise known as nyatoh wood.
Given the importance of the existence of the Punjulharjo Ancient Boat, the Directorate General of Antiquities of the Ministry of Education and Culture in collaboration with the Yogyakarta Archeology Center has carried out the conservation of the boat. This conservation was carried out for seven years, starting from 2011 to 2018.
The ancient Punjulharjo boat was discovered in July 2008 by residents while digging the ground to build a salt pond. During the excavation process, at a depth of about 2 meters, the wreck of a boat was found in an east-west position.
The results of the study show some important information. Here is some important information from the interim research:
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The completeness of the rest of the boat is not only still in shape, but also many parts of it that can become data on the shipping technology of the ancient archipelago.
2. The age of the ship dates back to the 7th century
The age of the ship which refers to the 7th century AD is based on a sample of the fibers used for tying.
Based on the size and proportion of the boat, which is 17.9 meters long and 4.6 meters wide (so the proportion is 1:3), it is most likely that the boat was a trading boat during the development of ancient Mataram.
Description of Punjulharjo Ancient Boat
Punjulharjo Ancient Boat has a length of 17.9 meters with a remaining width of 4.6 meters. In general, the condition of the body of the boat is still relatively intact, but the width of the boat is not perfect because the upper boards of the boat are missing.
The ancient boat of Punjulharjo has 17 tusks. Of the seventeen tusks, five of them have been lost, namely tusks 1,2,3,8, and 17. The tusks of this boat are not made of solid wood, but of two or more wood joined together.
On top of the ivory, there are long transverse logs (in some areas of Java such long logs are called repatriated manjang) which are tied to the ivory using palm fiber ropes.
If you are interested in visiting the Punjulharjo Ancient Boat site, the location is very easy to reach, about 7 km east of the Rembang square, north of the north coast route. To be precise, only 500 meters from Punjulharjo beach.