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Gedong Arca Purbakala - Archaeological Museum in 360°
The Gedong Arca Purbakala Archaeological Museum is located close to Bedulu, on the road to Pejeng. It contains a unique collection of tufa sarcophagi of varying size dating back to 300 BC. They 53 sarcophagi were found in the early seventies on 37 different sites on Bali and brought together here. Some of them are damaged probably the work of tomb-robbers or careless excavators.
1. What to see
The dead were laid in the sarcophagi not in the traditional western fashion but in a crouching posture to symbolize the eternal cycle of birth, death and rebirth, in which the dead person was reborn from a fetal position. Particularly striking is a sarcophagus found at Taman Bali (near Bangli) in the form of two turtles (symbols of the underworld), one on top of the other. Interestingly, the head of the lower turtle has human features.
Besides the sarcophagi, the museum also displays a variety of jewelry and ornaments, utensils and implements dating from the Stone and Bronze Ages - mostly chance finds rather than the result of planned excavation. Of particular interest are the miniature stupas from the Bedulu/Pejeng area, no doubt dating from Bali's Buddhist period (8th-10th c. AD).
2. When to see
There are no definit opening times for this museum, even no entry fee is payable. Our photographers found it open in the afternoon at around 3PM on Friday. On the other hand, some sources indicate that it is open:
- Monday - Thursday (8:00 a.m. to 15:00)
- Friday (08:00 to 12:30)
- Saturday - Sunday (9:00 to 2:00 p.m.)
4. How to get there
Most tourists visit Bali on a package tour that includes an option to select from a range of excursions. If travelling on your own, probably the easiest way is to rent a car with a driver for an entire day. It is not recommended to drive on your own in Indonesia due to the general negligance of driving rules. Singposts are written with Latin alphabet, but it might be difficult to find remote places on your own.
5. Where to stay
There are plenty of hotels to stay in Bali, the best beaches can be found at Kuta, Sanur and Nusa Dusa. If you prefer sightseeing, Sanur area is highly recommended since it has the best location to avoid the traffic jams of Denpasar.