At the western end of the island of Java, in Indonesia, there is a heavily vegetated mountain, at the top of which are stone blocks arranged in an apparently deliberate order. It was called See the Mountain (“mountain of enlightenment” in Indonesian), and a group of scientists discovered that it was the oldest pyramid built by people.
According to a new analysis of its infrastructure, the results of which were published in an article in the journal Archaeological Prospection, the site could be an architectural work that began to be built in the year 25,000 BC (BC), during the Paleolithic, at the beginning of the Stone Age.
The new details of this famous Asian pyramid, according to experts, challenge the scientific consensus on the beginning of human civilization because the oldest and most complex constructions made by our species are equivalent to the step pyramid of Zoser, built in Egypt around 2,670 BC. C.; to the ziggurat in Mesopotamia, also built in that millennium; and to the pyramids of the Caral civilization, built on the coast of Peru around 3,000 BC.
The structure of the island of Asia transcends the age of Göbekli Tepe, a type of pyramidal temple built in Turkey in the year 9,600 BC. C., probably of a hunter-gatherer population.
Built in several layers
Gunung Padang, located 885 meters above sea level, began to be built in 25,000 BC and was continued by the natives of the area, belonging to an unknown civilization, in times separated by thousands of years of difference.
After studying the architectural complex, experts divided the structure into four different units, which are listed in order from the least to the most ancient and make up a whole. layer 20 to 30 meters long.
Gunung Padang began to be built in the Paleolithic era. Photo: ghanimurtafa
The oldest part of the construction, Unit 4, located in the center, is the product of various human efforts that took place between 25,000 and 14,000 BC. C. in a natural hill of lava, composed of basaltic rocks that were later carved.
Around 7,900 and 6,100 BC, the inhabitants added Unit 3, which consists of a layer filled with soil covering part of the previous work.
Finally, between 6,000 and 5,500 BC, Unit 2 was built, and between 2,000 and 1,100 BC, Unit 1, which includes stone terraces, topsoil, and other elements.
The researchers also claim that there are signs of hollow parts inside the pyramid, which may suggest the presence of hidden chambers. This hypothesis is strengthened by the loss of water experienced during drilling operations, the researchers say.
At the top of Gunung Padang, you will find rough stone structures that have been lying there for hundreds of years. Photo: The Megalithic Portal
It was not a natural mountain
The true nature of Gunung Padang, considered a sacred site and cultural heritage site by locals, has been the subject of debate for years, with some experts considering it a natural mountain and others believing that it is a pyramidal construction built, in its entirety or in large part, by man.
Now, however, the final work, made possible by dating the ages of the site’s rocks, radar analysis, and tomography of the structure carried out between 2011 and 2015, supports the “clear evidence” in this last theory.
The authors of the discovery are a multidisciplinary team made up of archaeologists, geologists, geophysicists, and paleontologists, led by Danny Hilman Natawidjaja from the Indonesian Institute of Sciences.
The summit of Gunung Padang deliberately placed stone blocks. Photo: Archaeological Prospection
A controversial finding?
Asked about the subject, Dan Joyce, archaeologist and director of the Kenosha Museum in Wisconsin, pointed out that the dates of the construction of Gunung Padang “are somewhat controversial, but they seem solid.”
“In order to better understand the age of the site, independent investigations are needed that focus on radiocarbon dates and repeat the results. Unique claims require unique and replicable evidence,” he said to Atlas Obscura.
In this regard, Natawidjaja, the lead researcher, says that they expect that their findings will be received with skepticism by scientists around the world; however, “they welcome the opportunity to participate in further discussions and study.”
The amazing ruins of Gudung Padang
The ruins at the top of Mount Padang are rectangular rocks of volcanic origin, arranged over a vast area of 25 hectares (250,000 square meters).
In some places, the layout of these megalithic remains resembles the Machu Picchu citadel in Cusco, Peru, which was the ancient economic and political center of the Inca empire in South America.
However, in the Indonesian community of Karyamukti, where the pyramid is located, residents believe in the myth that the ruins are ruins from the temple of the Hindu king Prabu Siliwangi, who is considered the hero of Java. This is the reason why Gunung Padang is considered a sacred place.