One of the most astounding puzzles and discoveries in archaeology was found inside a mountain in West Java, Indonesia. Gunung Padang or Mount Padang, which appears to be a mountain at first glance, is hiding one of the earliest megalithic constructions in the world, which has been controversially carbon-dated to 26,000 BCE. The importance of this significant finding is that if the Mount Padang Pyramid is, in fact, a pyramid-like structure made by humans, then it rewrites the chronology of high civilization in what is at present considered the Prehistory of the World.
In “Ancient Apocalypse” documentary, British writer and journalist Graham Hancock discusses Gunung Padang in Indonesia, which is an impressive large structure built on the hilltop a long time ago. He says that the standard archaeological view of the site is wrong, that it has huge underground chambers like some of the pyramids in Egypt, and that it is at least twice as old as is thought, dating back to the end of the last Ice Age at least.
He says that the “simple hunter-gatherers” who lived in that area at the time it was built would not have been able to do something like that. He comes to the conclusion that it must have been done by one of the great teachers who survived the disaster that destroyed an advanced Ice-Age civilization. This is a theme that Hancock keeps coming back to over and over again.
After the last Ice Age ended some 10,000 years ago, Hancock says, groups of hunter-gatherers all across the world began constructing big, magnificent monuments like various pyramids and eventually built complex societies that birthed the technologies we use today. He suggests that the more advanced civilization existed during the Ice Age, however, they were destroyed by a catastrophic cataclysm, and few of its survivors, carrying the ancient advanced knowledge of their ancestors, were able to civilize the post-glacial hunter-gatherers.
Gunung Padang’s summit is covered by volcanic stones that are roughly rectangular in shape and exceedingly spectacular, creating terraces that have been considered sacred by the native Sundanese people for millennia. They attribute it to the efforts of legendary King Siliwangi, who built a palace in a single night.
The stones used to build the Gunung Padang site are a type of basalt that naturally forms into columns or logs with many sides. Even though they look like they were cut into hexagons or pentagons, that is their natural shape, just like the famous Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland. Besides, they do not naturally grow horizontally like they do at Gunung Padang. This alone is proof of human involvement, not even taking into account the structure made with them. However, no quarry has yet been named for these stones.
Scientists have discovered several layers within the Mount Padang Pyramid, proving that it is much larger than first believed and extending much deeper into Gunung Padang, by using a variety of technologies and surveying techniques (including excavation, X-ray tomography, core drilling, 2D and 3D imaging, and ground penetrating radar). It spreads over an area of around 15 hectares (150,000 square meters) and had been built up over millennia, with layers representing different periods.
Danny Hilman Natawidjaja, the lead project researcher and a senior scientist at the Indonesian Institute of Sciences, said that even though the buried structure looks like a pyramid at first glance, it is not the same as the pyramids that the Mayans built. While most Mayan pyramids are symmetrical, this one is long and has what looks like a half-circle in front. “It’s a unique temple,” Natawidjaja said.
At the very top, step terraces were framed by pillars of basalt rocks. Other arrangements of rock pillars “formed walls, paths, and spaces,” according to scientists. They thought that this layer had been there for about 3,000 to 3,500 years. At a depth of about 10 feet (3 m) below the surface, there was the second layer of similar rock columns that were thought to be between 7,500 and 8,300 years old. And the third layer, which goes 49 feet (15 m) below the surface, is more than 9,000 years old. Researchers think it could even be from 28,000 years ago. Their surveys also found several underground chambers.
The main data gathered by Natawidjaja and his team consists of ground penetrating radar, resistivity, and seismic tomography imaging. Very roughly, these data can be interpreted to show variations in the density of underground materials. It can show where there are big dense masses, metal-rich masses, high humidity, loose soil, etc.
Gunung Padang is open to the public, and tours seem to be available upon request. The site was closed in 2014 so that more digging could be done there, but people still talk about where it came from and what has been learned so far. Many experts in the field still do not know what Gunung Padang is or how it was built, and they cannot figure out what it is for.
In an interview with Natawidjaja in 2013, Michael Bachelard, a reporter for the Sydney Morning Herald, asked him about Gunung Padang. Natawidjaja was even more sure that Gunung Padang could be the oldest pyramid or megalithic structure in the world. He said that Gunung Padang “could predate the next oldest [pyramid] up to 20,000 years ago.” He later added: “It’s crazy, but it’s data.” (Source)
Moreover, Hancock suggests Gunung Padang and Nan Madol in the Federated States of Micronesia were both built by an advanced civilization over 20,000 years ago during the last Ice Age. That’s thousands of years earlier than archaeologists believe the sites were built.
“It’s my job to offer an alternative point of view. Perhaps there’s been a forgotten episode in human history. But perhaps the extremely defensive, arrogant and patronising attitude of mainstream academia is stopping us from considering that possibility,” says Hancock.
But those in the field of archaeology are more skeptical about Gunung Padang’s claim to being the oldest pyramid in the world. They state that not enough evidence exists to support such a statement. Images and surveys of the region, however, point to Java being a land of volcanoes, as stated by famous volcanologist Sutikno Bronto, who said that Gunung Padang is the neck of a volcano near the site. (Source)
In addition, other excavations have not produced the same results; approximately 30 miles away, excavators found bone tools in a cave. Because of this, it is difficult for scientists to believe that the civilizations that built Gunung Padang were advanced enough to make the pyramid when they had neighbors who were still using bone tools.
As a result, it is hard for experts to accept that the people who built Gunung Padang were so technologically accomplished as to construct a pyramid while their neighbors were still utilizing bone tools.