There are megalithic sites and then there are megalithic sites. Our ancestors, it seems, were particularly fond of building things. Look at the skyline of any major city and you can see we haven’t strayed too far from that ideal ourselves. From stone circles to pyramids, the builders of the ancient world knew well how to create a structure that will last through the ages, and our landscapes the world over show many examples of their expertise.
We know quite a bit about these ancient structures too. We know how the pyramids were built, we know who build the ruins in Greece and why, we know (or we think we know) how the massive walls and terraces were built in Mesoamerica, and for the most part, we know when all these structures were built. For a long time, it was thought that the oldest structures built in the ancient world were somewhere around 9000 years old.
There’s a new kid on the block though, Gunung Padang is that kid, so to speak.
First described in the Dutch naturalist manual Rapporten van de Oudheidkundige Dienstin 1914, Gunung Padang had been known to locals for millennia. It sits on a hill in the Indonesian village of Karyamukti, which is in the Cianjur regency, in West Java province. It is described as the largest megalithic site in south-east Asia, and at first glance appears to be a series of terraces with bordering walls and successive steps between each. The terraces are covered in large volcanic rocks organised into lines and shapes, and the local Sundanese people declare the site to be sacred.
The hill stands at a height of 200 meters. By comparison, Borobudur temple in Central Java is 35 meters tall and the Great Pyramid of Giza is 139 meters in height. The core of Gunung Padang is believed to be composed of a four-section terrace near the top of the hill. The sections further down are thought to be separate, multi-level terrace structures.
Early attempts to analyze the site resulted in dating of around 5000 BCE, which would put it in line with other sites in Asia and Europe. Radiometric dating and geoelectric testing done in 2012 seemed to confirm that date, though they found, quite surprisingly, that the site doesn’t actually sit on a hill. It is the hill.
Gunung Padang is a pyramid; one of the few pyramids found in south-east Asia. The site was found to have chambers and shafts hidden under the overgrown terraces with walled areas and other structures buried under centuries of natural reclamation. The next step in the excavation was to drill core samples in various locations to try to nail down a more accurate age for the site. This proved to be a dangerous endeavour for three tomography researchers who were beaten and kicked by locals who objected to the work, citing the sacred nature of the site
Nonetheless, the work continued and the results were astounding. Analysis of core samples of the hill and structure began to reveal greater and greater age the deeper they looked. From 5000 years, to 8000 years, to 10,000 years and all the way up to a reported 23,000 years old. These numbers are incredible! The implication is that this site is the oldest known structure of any kind on Earth.
It should come as no surprise that some have claimed this discovery in the name of ancient aliens, but the more interesting claim in that regard is in support of the One World Origin Theory.
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