Jakarta began as a small port on the estuary of the Ciliwung River around the early 16th century CE. Its history, however, started far earlier. The area in and around Jakarta was a location of human settlement for centuries. The first historical records discovered in Jakarta’s vicinity date from the 4th century CE when it was a Hindu settlement and port. The city was subsequently claimed by the Indianized kingdom of Tarumanegara, the Hindu Kingdom of Sunda, the Muslim Sultanate of Banten, the Dutch East Indies, the Empire of Japan and finally, Indonesia.

Jakarta has been known under several names. It was called Sunda Kelapa during the Kingdom of Sunda period and Jayakarta, Djajakarta or Jacatra during the short period of the Banten Sultanate. It was then known as Batavia under the Dutch colonial empire, and Djakarta or Jakarta, during the Japanese occupation and the modern period.

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