By: Etta Adil
Prehistoric Park of Sumpang Bita is administratively located in Sumpang Bita Village, Balocci District, Regency of Pangkep. This Prehistoric Park is included in the area of Bantimurung-Bulusaraung National Park.
In Prehistoric Garden Complex, there are 2 prehistoric caves that are Sumpang Bita Cave and Bulu Sumi Cave, with an area of about 2 hectars, which is divided into flat land and lime mountain. Both caves are located in the cluster of hills Bulu Bita.
Currently Prehistoric Sumpang Bita Park has been incorporated into the inventory list of Cultural Heritage Preservation Center of South Sulawesi with inventory number 195.
The Cave of Sumpang Bita is the largest cave in Pangkep even in South Sulawesi, and has a high dome and sloping backward. Located at an altitude of about 280 meters above sea level.
Accesibility to the cave is relatively easy because of the availability of stairs made of cement as wide as 1 meter from the base of the hill until it reached the door of the cave. This cave is included in the thick cave sheet and has 3 rooms. The surface of the cave floor tends to be flat with a width of 15 meters.
Archaeological traces in this cave in the form of wall paintings, stone artifacts, mollusk shells, fragments of pottery and fragments of bones and teeth. Hand-painted wall paintings of various sizes, children’s footprints, resembling pigs of deer in various sizes as well as a boat-like painting.
The paintings are red and most are found on the left side wall of the cave. While the findings of stone artifacts found scattered on the surface of the cave floor. The mollusk shells were found to be from the class of gastropods and pelecypods scattered on the floor until the cave courtyard.
Fragmented pottery is also found scattered on the floor and cave plates while bone and dental fragments are found in scattered conditions but the number is very small.
As an effort to preserve the Sumpang Bita Archaeological Park, Cultural Heritage Preservation Hall of South Sulawesi in 1982 at that time was still named as Sanctuary of Ancient History and Archeology of Sulselra has conducted the Data Collection site in Balocci Sub-district of Pangkep Regency.
From the results of data collection revealed archaeological findings in the form of cave wall paintings, mollusk shells, fragments of plain and ornate earthenware and bone fragments and human teeth. The results of this data collection were followed up with rescue excavation activities in 1984, and continued in 1985-1986.
For the convenience of the visitors of the Sumpang Bita Archaeological Park, over 100 stages of cemented staircases have been built to reach prehistoric caves over 5000 years old in the region. This park is about + 80 km from Makassar City or can be reached for + 2 hours from Makassar.
In order to provide convenience for the visitors then this location has been arranged in such a way with the arrangement of the environment and the park and has provided some public facilities in the form of information space, toilet and stairs of cement that allows visitors to reach the prehistoric cave. (*)