Indonesian fishermen may have found ‘golden island’ as ‘hidden’ gems resurface

A group of Indonesian fishermen may have found Sumatra, the golden island belonging to the kingdom of Srivijaya, dating back to the 14th century. The fables of the region claimed that there was a hidden treasure in the Musi River, laden with crocodiles, near Palembang. Thus, for five years, fishermen have been diving into the river to locate the treasure.

In the span of five years, fishermen in the area discovered various valuable artifacts, including a life-size statue of Buddha studded with gems and expensive jewelry worth millions of rupees. Additionally, fishermen recently unearthed several gold ceremonial rings, coins and bronze monk’s bells during one of the night dives in the Musi River.

“Over the past five years extraordinary things have surfaced. Gold coins, Buddhist statues, and all kinds of gems you might read in the tail of Sinbad The Sailor have been found on the island of Sumatra. You might think it’s made up, but it’s actually real, ”said maritime archaeologist Dr Sen Kingsley in an interview with The Guardian.

According to a study, the Kingdom of Srivijaya controlled the arteries of the Maritime Silk Road, a vital route for the trade of goods between China and the Arab regions. “For more than 300 years, the rulers of Srivijaya have mastered the trade routes between the Middle East and Imperial China. It becomes the international crossroads of the best products of the time. The western Mediterranean world in the 8th century entered a dark phase when one of the world’s greatest kingdoms erupted on the map of Southeast Asia, ”Kingsley added.

The kingdom is believed to have strong ties to the Indian subcontinents as well. Numerous artefacts, including artefacts related to the head of the Hindu deity Rahu, have also been found in the area.

Since the excavation site is not properly regulated, fishermen sell the artifacts before archaeologists can properly study them. Kingsley believes that many gems and statues have been wiped from global radar by the international antique market.

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