|Archaeologist Candrian Attahiyat standing in front of one of the few surviving sections of a 17th century defensive wall in Jakarta, Indonesia. (Photo by=Nivell Rayda)|
[아시아뉴스통신=레악카나 기자] When archaeologist Candrian Attahiyat heard that the Jakarta city government was planning to widen the flood-prone Ciliwung River last year, he was immediately alarmed.Part of the river cuts through Jakarta’s heritage area and the normalisation project would see the capital’s main waterway broadened by up to 15m, threatening the few remaining sections of the 400-year-old perimeter walls built by the Dutch East India Company.Only less than 500m of the 4.6km fortified walls still stand today.
While some sections are well preserved, others are left in varying stages of decay, overrun with trees and vegetation.In one area, the walls are sinking into the subsiding ground below with more than two-thirds of their 8m body now sitting below sea level. Jakarta has one of the worst subsidence rates in the world due to over-extraction of groundwater.
Mr Attahiyat and other archaeologists are racing against time to have the walls declared as conservation sites.According to a model conducted by Indonesia’s Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB), 95 per cent of the coastal areas in Jakarta could be entirely submerged below sea level by 2050, including parts of Old Batavia. The walls represented a time when Jakarta, or Batavia as it was known at the time, was a small seaside town no bigger than 1.3 sq km.