Sydney, January 16 (ANI): Archaeologists in Indonesia have uncovered a 1,000-year-old temple that could shed light on the country's Hindu past.
According to a report by ABC News, the temple was found on the grounds of Yogyakarta's Islamic University as workers probed the ground to lay foundations for a new library, and they realised the earth beneath their feet was not stable.
Digging soon revealed still-standing temple walls three metres underground.
Heavy rains then exposed the top of a statue of the Hindu god Ganesha in pristine condition.
A few weeks into the excavation, archaeologists are declaring the temple and its rare and beautiful statues an important discovery that could provide insights into Indonesia's pre-Islamic culture.
"This temple is a quite significant and very valuable because we have never found a temple as whole and intact as this one," said archaeologist Dr Budhy Sancoyo, who is one of the researchers painstakingly cleaning up the temple.
"For example, looking at where the statues are placed in this temple, they are in their original positions, unlike the other temples," he said.
"This temple is important for understanding the culture of our ancestors," he added.
A volcanic eruption is thought most likely to have covered the temple around the 10th century, about 100 years after it was built.
The eruption preserved its statues and reliefs in better condition than almost everything else discovered in Indonesia from that period, including the Borobodur and Prambanan temple complexes.
Yogyakarta's Islamic University wants to open the site to the public once the dig is complete. (ANI)