The uniqueness of Sukuh temple on the slopes of Mount Lawu precisely in the Berjo Village, Ngargoyoso Subdistrict, Karanganyar Regency [Indonesia] is not only the type of stone, the shape of the temple and even the bas relief on the walls. The strangeness of the conditions inside the temple when the stones dismantled is shocking, evidently it is exceptionally different from the temples in general which contain soil. But in Sukuh temple there are two layers of stones. Under the outermost stones, the team found another layer of brownish stones.
Until recently, a team of researchers who conducted the restoration of the temple have not confirmed if the type of fill that resembles stones is a natural hill or a fill. Another uniqueness, it turns out that the stones inside the Sukuh temple do not have fastening or locking mechanism like the other temples which serves to fasten a stone to the others to strengthen the temple.
Niken Wirasanti, one of the archaeological team from the University of Gadjah Mada (UGM) was very surprised to get a lot of peculiarities in Sukuh, which is currently undergoing restoration. Many new findings should be studied further by the other teams.
“It is an interesting fact that we will discuss, in contrast to other temples I ever learned before,” said Niken recently while doing research in Sukuh. In addition to the fill inside the stone structure, according to Niken, inside the temple there are also found antefixes under the stairs of the temple which are buried under the soil. Whereas the antefix should be positioned outside the temple.
“Antefix is a triangular-shaped stone as a temple decoration. They are found buried in the soil under a stair leading to the top of the temple. Antefixes are usually placed outside the temple,” she explained.
The findings in the field, Niken explained, still need to be studied further. In order to find answers related to the mystery of Sukuh uniqueness, which also raises several allegations related to the temple.
Initial assumption raises a number of allegations that there was augment of the structure on Sukuh, with the discovery of another stone structure when the temple was dismantled. There are also findings of antefixes commonly found and mounted on the front of a temple. Antefixes are found in the inner layer of the Sukuh temple.
“It will be studied further with the team, whether Sukuh always been like this from the beginning or whether there was the possibility of the augment of the structure, also changes of the shape of the structure,” she concluded.