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Java Ancient Unit Pack (Mataram) 2016-10-05

Java Ancient Unit Pack (Mataram)

  1. Bakuel
    Mataram Info:
    Spoiler :

    Mataram is another name for central Java and is the general name given to the early "Indianized" region which existed in Java between 570-1006 AD. It is known that complex societies existed before 570 and some scholars trace the development of some of the important centers to the first century AD. Chinese records state that the 3rd century people of Fu Nan (Cambodia) spoke of a Sitiao, a "place of fertile land and cities with streets...". Some believe that Sitiao may have been a state in Mataram but no one knows for sure. However, 570 AD is the most concrete beginning date given for Mataram.

    The source of Mataram' s civilization was the volcanic Kedu Plain. Fertile soils and a yearlong growing period has made the plain a rice bowl and local rulers were mainly concerned with controlling the farming villages inside it. The large rice surplus made it the rice bowl of the archipelago and the island of Java has always had a large population.

    It is believed that the basic social organization of Java was centered around the control of irrigation. Because rice could be grown all year long, the major inhibitor for growing food was water availability. Wet-rice farming needs various levels of water from planting to harvest. First the field is planted and flooded, but then the water is drained off again and the field is dried by the end of harvest. Because of this, it is important that farmland around the same stream did not draw off water at the same time, leading to the need for complex water management. This need would lead to the development of local aristocracies who told the people of a certain stream who could begin planting or draining and when, and managed the complex dams and artificial reservoirs to insure there was constant water throughout the year. Villages that shared the same source of water would form organizations were village leaders would meet together and plan how the water would be use. These leaders of the "water-board" would form aristocracies and lineages. The leaders of the water-board would be the de-facto headman of the entire region. Often the water-board would be closely connected with the cults of the local gods, which usually had a water or agricultural basis. These where used as a tool of legitimacy.

    Mataram's rice exports made the trade routes from it valuable commodity but the local elites of the plain were not really concerned with controlling outside trade directly. The river-mouth city ports of Java were generally independent of Mataram plain based elite lineages and there does not seem to have never a direct link between the international trade and Mataram.

    Around the sixth century some aristocrat lineages began to gain more legitimacy then the others as they gained alliances and absorbed minor ones to become what could be called kingdoms, though small. To help with legitimacy, greater temples complexes started to be built and it was during the coming centuries that central Java went through a temple boom. Rulers were concerned with local affairs then international but this did not mean that they shunned outside culture. The two Indian religions, Hinduism and Buddhism, with their more universal theological focus, offered great tools for the rulers to gain a leg up over other aristocrats who were patrons of local cults. The area would go through a temple building boom that would last throughout the era.

    There were two main dynasties that came into prominence during the proceeding centuries, the Sailendras and the Sanjaya. The Sailendras were Mahayana Bhuddist, while the Sanjaya were active promoters of Hinduism. The Sailendras were well known for having a marriage alliance with the Buddhist rulers of Srivijaya around the 800s, and constructing Borobudur. Srivijaya was a powerful empire at this time and had contacts in the northern and western parts of Java, peaceful trade between these two states enriched both. The early 800s were a golden age, but it would not last.

    The Sailendras and the Sanjayas seemed to have maintained a peaceful
    existence until 832 when Sanjaya defeated a Sailendra prince called Balaputradeva and he (and presumable the rest of the Sailendras) retreated to Sumatra and the protection of their Srivijaya allies. With the Buddhists gone, the Hindu Sanjaya dynasty was the most powerful dynasty in Mataram and without equal.

    However, relations with Srivijaya were ruined and the Malay empire would seek to avenge their relatives. Srivijaya would continually attack Mataram in the proceeding centuries, constant warfare would weaken both empires. Most of the campaigns were centered around control of West Java. Even after the Sanjaya dynasty was replaced by the Isyana, warfare with Srivijaya would continue throughout the 10th century. The Isyana king Dharmawangsa launching an invasion of Srivijaya and attempted to capture Palembang in 990. Constant Mataram raids continued in the years that followed until Srivijaya struck back. In 1006, it is recorded that there was a rebellion by a vassal of Mataram, but historians speculate that it was a retaliatory raid by Srivijaya. Another theory is that it was a rebellion backed by Srivijaya, doubtless many Mataram vassals were tired of the constant warfare. Either way, it led to Dharmawangsa and his family being killed. Only his sister's son, Airlangga, would escape the slaughter. After many misadventures, the last scion of Isyana would fund a mighty kingdom and become one of the great rulers of Javanese history. His eastern Javanese kingdom of Kahuripan transformed the backwater East Java into a productive region and would lay the groundwork for the later Majapahit. However, the death of Dharmawangsa and his family in 1006 is a good ending date for the Mataram pack.


    Military:
    Spoiler :
    Not much is known about the military systems of the kingdoms of Mataram, neither how the people were levied or marshaled. But some inferences can still be made from the sources that are left.
    Given the region's high population it had the potential for large armies. The reliefs of Borobudur and Prambanan show at least three parts of the classical Indian army, infantry, horsemen and elephants. The infantry seems to have been organized by type. One of the reliefs show infantry armed with curved swords at rest (1). While another shows a rank of nobles(?) with oblong shields and straight swords in front of another rank armed with what may be bows and arrows (2). While another group has straight swords but smaller square shields (3). Many horsemen are shown, but it is unknown whether or not they served as actual cavalry (4). They may have just been a mount for nobles.
    Borobudor shows what may be the earliest hard evidence for war elephants in the archipelago. Doubtlessly, with Java's high agricultural surplus they could afford to field them, but Srivijaya may have fielded them as well. In (5) the elephant is trampling an unfortunate soul while the mahout is holding a spear or a very long ankus. Going back to (4), the mahout seems to be directing a war elephant to take apart a house or palace in a siege scene. The palace structure seems to have a fence structure around it, but that may be supposed to represent a stockade. In his book on Burma and Indo-China, Ian Heath mentions the use of war elephants being used to destroy field fortifications in the nineteenth century. Doubtless ancient Javanese elephants could demolish wooden structures as well. The elephants are probably either the extinct Java, or Sumatra or Borneo elephants. All of the elephants native to the archipelago are usually diminutive when compared to the African and Asian and weigh less. The fact that the elephants are consistently shown with only one rider instead of two or three like in India and the South-East Asian mainland seems to add credence to this theory.

    From the Borobudur reliefs we also see the appearance of flags and standards. A type similar to the ones found in Angkor Wat is seen in a peaceful scene amongst ladies with offerings (3), while soldiers sit at attention with one of their number holding a standard of maybe horse hair (4). In the siege scene (2) the army attacking the palace also have a third type of standard.


    Sources:
    Spoiler :
    There are numerous sources for Javanese units due to the high number of reliefs at temples like Borobudur and Prambanan. These reliefs show a variety of scenes from everyday life. Kings, nobles and commoners are all covered. All the temples are peppered with martial scenes showing either warfare or weapons. Even the Buddhist Borobudur has many scenes of warfare. These temples are a great source for any historical recreations and images are widely available on the internet. While the reliefs are in a Indian art style, they show many native scenes and weapons.


    Unit Info:
    Spoiler :

    Javanese Warrior and Scout,

    The Javanese Warrior and Scout are based off of a single relief of a commoners hunting, fishing and, it seems, farming rice, (1). The two figures on the left are picking at a plant which looks like the artist's representation of rice. The other plant besides the crouching hunter with a bow looks like it has bananas, but I could be wrong. Anyway, the scout's turban is based off of the figure right below the flying bird.

    Javanese Archer,

    This unit's look is based off of a popular image of Borobudur, (1). It's combination of sarong and turban is common throughout the monument's frescoes. Bows show up a lot in the reliefs, but sadly, like spears, they are often damaged and their details hard to make out. The narrow strips of stone that make them up seem to suffer the worst erosion. Mataram archers aren't shown with quivers and they grasped the arrows in their hand (2). Sadly, I must bow to the vanilla civ4 animations, the Javanese Archer has a quiver.

    Javanese Axeman,

    This unit is based off of several sources. The general head wrap with pedant look is based off of the reliefs of Borobudur (1), especially the kneeling figure on the far left. The shields is based off of this picture of one of the shields from Borobudur (2), while the axe is based off of a curious weapon wielded by one of the Vanara (monkey-people from the Ramayana) (3). The armor on the other hand is based off of anthropological sources. It is based off one of the fiber armors from Toraja islands, (4), especially the one on the bottom left. Minus the fur. Fiber chest armor use was widespread in the archipelago, appearing even in the highlands of Papua New Guinea.

    Javanese Javelinman,

    It is unknown whether the ancient Javanese used javelins or not but, along with spears they are underrepresented in the reliefs. Most warriors shown have bladed weapons. Presumably they did though, the weapon is known throughout the archipelago. Some Javanese men are shown with a cloth wrapped around them mid chest, (1), like the standing figure to the right here. What purpose this serves isn't known. It could be a spare cloth. The shield is based off of the small shield wielded by the figure in the middle of this relief, (2).


    Javanese Light Spearman,

    The Light Spearman's costume is based off of the relief here, (1) and his topknot style is a type seen all over the reliefs. The spear and circle shield combo is shown on the moment here, (3).

    Javanese Spearman,

    As far as I can tell, no armor is shown on art from this period, the archipelago does have a diverse anthropological armor record however, so some a type of armor used by the Toraja and the Dayak was used. This armor, often paired with a helmet, was composed of rattan with bone, horn, wood, oystershell, leather and seeds from the Entada plant (called "sea beans" or "sea hearts"), (1), (2), (3), (4), (5)[/URL. It was made with the opening on the back and the larger rectangle piece in front. On the wild seas of the internet you will sometimes find it worn backwards by collectors...

    Javanese Keris Buda Warrior,

    The keris is the most legendary blade in the South East Asian archipelago. Much like the Janbiya amongst the people of Yemen, the kris would be worn by almost anyone and in later times no man of standing would be caught in public without one. Nonetheless, the blade has evolved through the centuries and the basic idea of the dagger style probably has a Indian genesis. The early kris is called the Keris Buda. This knife had a broad blade and a T shaped hilt and can be commonly seen on Borobudur and Prambanan reliefs,
    (1). It seems to have been commonly pared with a buckler, (2).

    More pictures of Prambanan weaponry can be found here.

    Javanese Light Swordsman,

    The Light Swordsman is based off of the sitting figures which have already been shown, (1). Warriors armed with curved swords and oblong oval shields can be seen in many different parts of Borobudur, (2). This fighting style was very popular in the region and is comparable to the warriors seen in Khmer temples and in the Indian Ajanta caves.

    Javanese Swordsman,

    The Javanese Swordsman is based on the figures on this relief, (1). The Swordsman's headdress is an interpretation of the headdress worn by those figures. Some believe that that figures like this are wearing ornaments in their head, however, there is some evidence that those headdress constructions are actually crowns or caps. For example, here the Buddha is renouncing his worldly wealth and titles and becoming an ascetic, (2). Note the servent holding a crown in the shape of a complex hairdo and ornament. This type of crown/cap can be cross referenced with ones shown in Bagan period art in Burma, (3).
    Also later Javanese bodyguards are known to have worn a cap with a cylinder like "bob" on top, (4), which is very similar to the type shown in (1).
    The sword is a type found throughout Borobudur, a long sword with a large hilt, (6). It's interesting because straight swords are very rare in the historical and anthropological record of both archipelago and mainland of South East Asia. The shield with it's star boss is an interpretation of this one carried by some interesting "foreign" looking warriors with curly hair and beards (Indian? Timorese? Melanesian?), (7). It was given to the Swordsman since I wanted to give the unit to have a shield that had a design.

    Javanese Chariot,

    Java was probably never home to any war chariots, most of the frescoes they appear in are related to mythology or parade. Their appearance is also unwieldy and ornamental and where unlikely ever used on the battlefield. Nonetheless, a chariot model most be created for the roster and here it is. Many of the Javanese reliefs show men wearing jewelry similar, (1) to this and the crown is based off of this guardian statue from Plaosan Temple, (2).


    Javanese Horseman,

    It is unknown whether or not Java had a true cavalry regiment during this era, but horses are seen throughout Borobudur, including the siege scene which has already been shown. The horses may have just been for captains, nobles and scouts. The horse saddle that the unit is using is based off of this relief, (1).

    Javanese War Elephant

    This war elephant unit is based off of the siege scene (1). The mahout in the relief looks like he is wearing the headband and topknot which is commonly found in the reliefs, but it is damaged so it's hard to tell. The war elephant model is smaller then the civ4 vanilla war elephant and is lacking a tower, there is no evidence that Javanese war elephants had towers during this era.


    Animations directions are in the zip.

    Please leave comments in the thread.

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    Images

    1. javamataramancient_32_square_2bg_6EC.jpg
    2. javaneseancientunitspreview1_p8v.png