Gunung Padang, a giant underground pyramid hidden beneath a hillside in Indonesia, is older than Stonehenge or the pyramids of Giza and rivals the oldest megalithic structures. The results of a new study on this mysterious construct come after years of painstaking analysis.
The unique hillside of ancient stone structures on the island of West Java is sacred to the locals, who call these types of structures punden berundak, meaning stepped pyramid, after the terraces that lead to its top.
Gunung Padang is possibly the oldest pyramid structure in the world, built on the top of an extinct volcano before the dawn of agriculture or civilization as we know it.
According to new data from Indonesian scientists, its contents can be well hidden in large open chambers full of unknowns.
A thorough analysis of Gunung Padang, which means “mountain of enlightenment” in the local language, now strongly suggests that an ancient civilization meticulously carved the natural lava hill into the core of a pyramidal structure long ago. formerly.
The first radiocarbon dating of the site shows that the initial construction began during the last glacial period, more than 16,000 years before the present and possibly 27,000 years ago.
To put this in perspective, Göbekli Tepe, a large group of stones in modern-day Turkey, is currently considered the oldest known megalith in the world. It started 11,000 years ago.
Between 2011 and 2015, a team of archaeologists, geologists and geophysicists, led by geologist Danny Hilman Natawidjaja of the National Research and Innovation Agency of Indonesia, used a variety of techniques, including core drilling, ground- penetrating radar and imaging underground, to explore the site, cultural heritage.
Natawidjaja and his colleagues discovered that, like many megaliths in the past, Gunung Padang was built in complex and sophisticated stages, the deepest part of which is 30 meters deep.
This central part of the structure was probably built between 25,000 and 14,000 BC, but was abandoned for several millennia.
The last architects of the pyramid arrived around 2000 to 1100 BC, adding the upper ground as well as stone terraces characteristic of a punden berundak. This is the most visible part today.
More excavations are needed to understand who these prehistoric people were and why they built these structures.
When researchers probed the interior of the hillside using seismic waves, they found traces of hidden cavities and chambers, some up to 15 meters high with 10-meter-high ceilings. .
The team now hopes to drill these areas. If they find any cameras, they plan to lower a camera into the darkness to see what’s hidden underneath.