Friday, 29 October 2021

Island of Gold - Srivijaya

The Island of Gold disappeared mysteriously around the 14th century. The site of Srivijaya may have been found by local fishing crews carrying out night-time dives on the Musi River near Palembang on the Indonesian island of Sumatra. Srivijaya was an important centre for the expansion of Buddhism from the 7th to the 12th century AD. Srivijaya was the first unified kingdom to dominate much of the Malay Archipelago. Srivijaya was a waterworld, its people living on the river like modern boat people. As ancient texts recorded: “When the civilization ended, their wooden houses, palaces and temples all sank along with all their goods.” Srivijaya controlled the arteries of the Maritime Silk Road, a huge market in which local, Chinese and Arab goods were traded. For over 300 years the rulers of Srivijaya mastered the trade routes between the Middle East and imperial China.
Srivijaya became the international crossroads and its rulers accumulated legendary wealth. Locals may have found the fabled civilization in the Musi River around Palembang.

A diver prepares to freedive with a hookah breathing system in the Musi River at Palembang.