Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Language, Education, Humanities, and Innovation 2018

Continuity and Change in Islamic Heritage: A Case Study of Inscription and Symbol in Poesponegoro Tomb, Gresik

Imam Mash’ud

Department of Archaeology, Universitas Gadjah Mada Bulaksumur, Yogyakarta, Indonesia


Islamic cultural heritage in Indonesia is mostly formed by buildings and monuments such as mosques and tombs. Furthermore, tomb which is formed by headstone, cupola and Jirat, become the sources for reconstructing the history of Islamic cultural in Indonesia. Chronologically, Islam established in Indonesia since 13th century by the development of some Islamic kingdoms, such as Demak, Mataram Islam, and Pajang kingdom in Java. Due the growth of these kingdoms, the dominance of Hinduism-Buddhism in Java was fallen. Therefore, this study is intended to investigate the influence of Hinduism-Buddhism culture in Islamic cultural heritage. As a qualitative descriptive study, this research used Poesponegoro Tomb as a main source of data. Poesponegoro is a well-known regent in Gresik, East Java, which is lived in the age of Mataram Islam kingdom. In fact, research on epigraphy and Poesponegoro tomb has been done by previous researchers (Rahmawati, 2015; Damais, 1995; Guillot, 1998), but no one examined this same issue. By using morphological and stalistic analysis, this study found that the impact of Hinduism-Buddhism culture in Poesponegoro Tomb appears in its inscriptions and symbols. In this case, the inscriptions show that this tomb used three languages, namely Arabic, Javanese, and Pegon. Meanwhile, the symbol show that this tomb does not only use the symbol of moon as an icon of Islam, but also the acculturation of Islamic culture and Hinduism-Buddhism culture. Hence, the acculturation of cultures is found in the symbol of sun, as an icon of Hinduism-Buddhism, and decoration of Arabic letters.


Islamic archaeology, historical culture, cultural adaptation

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