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Java Indonesia History: Prehistory and Early Kingdoms

inscribed Ciaruteun Bogor

Prehistory of Java Indonesia begun since about a million years ago. Evidence by the finding of Megantrophus Paleojavanicus (big man from Ancient Java) at Sangiran in 1941 by G.H.R Von Koenigswald. Around 600,000 years ago, since paleolitikum, Java Indonesia also inhabited by Homo erectus paleojavanicus. After Homo erectus paleojavanicus era, Java is inhabited by Homo erectus soloensis. The fossils were found in the Bengawan Solo river, near Sragen regency, Central Java, in 1941.

At least since 2000 BC, Java island was inhabited by homo sapiens (modern human), since the migration of ethnic Deutro Malay  from Yunnan, southern China.  Since the early centuries, the Javanese has established trade and cultural relations with India and China. So the foreign cultures began to enter, such as the Hindu culture. This is evidenced by the discovery of the inscribed monument stones (prasasti) from that era, such inscribed monument stones that found in the Ciaruteun, Bogor. From the inscriptions it is known there is one of Java early kingdoms named Tarumanagara (358-669 AD). Purnavarman (395-434 AD) was the most popular king.

The terracotta portrait of Gajah MadaMedang or Mataram kingdom was a Hindu-Buddhist kingdom that flourished between the 8th and 10th centuries in Java Indonesia history. The first king is Sanjaya. In 750-850 AD, Sailendra dynasty then became the ruler of Mataram. Sailendra built the Borobudur temple which completed its construction in 825, in King Samaratunga era. Mataram collapsed in around  1045 AD due the attacks of Srivijaya kingdom of Sumatra.

Meanwhile, in the years 669-1579 Sunda kingdom flourished in West Java. Sunda kingdom ruled by Maharaja Sri Jayabupati Jayamanahen Wisnumurti Samarawijaya Sakalabuwanamandaleswaranindita Haro Gowardhana Wikramottunggadewa.

In 1222, Ken Arok founded the one of Java early kingdoms named Singhasari Kingdom (1222-1292). He ruled the kingdom until year 1292. In 1227 Anusapati kill Ken Arok. Anusapati later became king Singhasari. Anusapati only lasted 20 years. He was killed by Tohjaya. Three years later, Tohjaya killed in the rebellion led by Jaya Visnuvardhana.

Year 1268, Jaya Visnuvardhana died, he was replaced by Kertanegara (1268-1292). In year 1292, Kertanegara was defeated by Jayakatwang rebellion, also this is the end of the Singhasari Kingdom.

Java Indonesia ancient kingIn 1294, the most important history of Java Indonesia Majapahit Kingdom (1293-1500) stand. This kingdom in java found by Raden Wijaya. Majapahit reached the top of glory during the reign of Hayam Wuruk. He was accompanied by its mahapatih (prime minister) Gajah Mada. With Gajah Mada, Hayam Wuruk had mastered almost the entire Indonesia territory which was named Dwipantara. In 1389, Hayam Wuruk died. Then replaced by Wikramawardhana.

The Islam arrival also take a great affect to Java Indonesia history. One of the Islam’s central development in Java was the Demak Sultanate (1475-1548) in Central Java. This kingdom in java was established by Raden Hasan. He was later titled Shah Akbar Al Fatah, or more commonly known by the name of Raden Patah. At  Trenggono era (1521), the Demak sultanate develop into a kind of federal state with Islam as its unifier.

During this period, the Samudera Pasai kingdom in Sumatra attacked by Portuguese. This situation is forcing a nobleman named Fatahillah to get away from Sumatra. He moved to Demak, Central Java. Fatahillah later married with the sister of Sultan Trenggana (1522-1548) and appointed as the Army Commander of Demak Sultanate. Fatahillah then attacked and took over the important cities of Sunda Kingdom, including Cirebon and Banten Indonesia.

In 1527, Sunda Kelapa (now Jakarta) also conquered by Fatahillah. After this conquest, Sunda Kelapa was renamed Jayakarta. As history of Java Indonesia, June 22, 1527, until now commemorated as the Jakarta’s anniversary.

In July 1596, the Dutch expedition led by Cornelis de Houtman arrived at Jayakarta. Although only for trade, but in the end Dutch East India Company or VOC  (Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie) has ambition to master the area.

In 1550, Sultan Trenggana killed. After Sultan Trenggana died, there was a power struggle. In the struggle, there is someone named Pamanahan. Pamanahan helps Adiwijaya (Duke of Surabaya area) to win these struggles. Then Adiwijaya become the new King (sultan) of Demak. In return for his help, Pamanahan given the Mataram territory (now around Kota Gede, Yogyakarta).

In 1619, the Dutch troops under the Pieters Coen command,  attack and managed to master Jayakarta. VOC later changed Jayakarta into Batavia.

Meanwhile, in about 16th century history of Java Indonesia, flourished Mataram Sultanate (different from Mataram Kingdom), a moslem kingdom in central Java Indonesia History. The sultanate achieved its glory at Sultan Agung Hanyokro Kusumo era (1613-1645). Sultan Agung succeeded in expanding his kingdom until the entire region of Central Java, part of East Java, Borneo, and part of West Java.

Old Java Map

Sultan Agung was also attacks against VOC in Batavia in 1628 and 1629. But he failed to beat the VOC. The VOC treat Mataram Sultanate by Giyanti agreement. Based on the terms of the agreement, the eastern half of the Sultanate of Mataram in central Java was given to Pakubuwono III with Surakarta as its capital, while the western half was given to Prince Mangkubumi with its capital in Yogyakarta.

Finally on December 31, 1799, the VOC was nationalized by the Dutch government. All Indonesia’s territory was taken over by the Dutch administration in Batavia. In 1807, the Dutch formally proclaimed that the Islands archipelago is part of the Netherlands Kingdom. As the first governor-general is Daendles Hermann Wilhelm (1808-1811).

>> Continued on Java Indonesia History: The 20th Century.

 

6 responses to “Java Indonesia History: Prehistory and Early Kingdoms”

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