Tracking the ancient Spices trail of Java

Spices trade has changed the civilization in the Indonesia Archipelago.

History has shown, how Spain, Portuguese, Dutch, and later British have fought, conquer and colonize the people of Indonesia or also known as Nusantara found by the mysterious Majapahit kingdom, to dominate the spices trade route, harvest from these fertile lands.

The Chinese, Arabic, and African spices trader that has been trading in these islands before the Europeans also have left its heritage to the civilization thru cultural changing and particularly religious teachings. The spices trading route gave a direct impact on Islam teaching in Indonesia, which today has become one of the biggest Muslim population nations in the world.

Spread across the archipelago, one of the distinguished ancient heritage of the spices trading route can be found in Java island, which has been known for centuries as the main trading port and administration center of this archipelago.

To preserve the relict and heritage of these ancient trading routes, also giving the future generation access to study how the history of the spices trading in Indonesia gave an impact on its people, the Ministry of Education and Culture of Indonesia has been actively promoting the initiative to make the Indonesia Spices trading route formally recognized as one of the World Heritage sites.

I was invited to join as part of a team conducting a rapid assessment in Cirebon, West Java, and Gresik, East Java to support this initiative. Our team consists of Archeology scholars and photographers, documenting sites scattered along Java Island.

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