The Newsletter 58 Autumn 2011

Maclaine Pont and the discovery of Bharada's Hermitage

Amrit GompertsArnoud HaagPeter Carey

When King Airlangga divided his realm between his two warring sons in 1052, he asked the Buddhist sage, Mpu Bharada, to draw the dividing-line between the Janggala and Panjalu kingdoms in Java. For nearly a millennium, the legends about this remarkable sage and his mysterious hermitage-cemetery at Lĕmah Tulis were handed down from one generation to the next. In 1926, the archaeologist Henri Maclaine Pont claimed to have excavated the hermitage site. But his findings passed into a strange oblivion. Now, after three years of intensive detective work, the present authors have resolved this mystery in Trowulan archaeology and can confirm Maclaine Pont’s remarkable claim.