Like a giant's game of pick-up sticks, rectangular stones lay scattered over the terraced hillside of Gunung Padang in Indonesia. If geologist Dr Danny Hilman is correct, buried beneath the megalithic jumble is an ancient pyramid. According to Hilman, the structure is "older than 9000 [years] and could be up to 20,000. It's crazy, but it's data."
First discovered in 1914, Gunung Padang is about 120km southeast of Jakarta. Hilman believes the 100-metre tall hill is man-made, after geo-electric and Ground Penetrating Radar surveys revealed artificial structures within the hillside.
Not surprisingly, Hilman's work is attracting criticism and controversy from the status quo, particularly from archaeologists upset that a geologist is doing their work. It's always wise not to jump to conclusions, the Bosnian pyramid being a good reason for caution. But I have to take issue with the attitude of one anonymous critic:
'In the Pawon cave in Padalarang [about 45 kilometres from Gunung Padang], we found some human bones and tools made of bones about 9500 years ago, or about 7000 BCE. So, if at 7000 BCE our technology was only producing tools of bones, how can people from 20,000 BCE obtain the technology to build a pyramid?
I wonder if he's heard about Göbekli Tepe in Turkey, or the submerged city of Dwarka in India. A recent discovery of a lunar calendar in Scotland that's also about 10,000 years old is further proof Neolithic people weren't mindless brutes. Heck, 40,000 years ago our ancestors were composing music. The Neolithic builders of Britain's megaliths still used primitive bone tools for various tasks, but they were no slouches when it came to astronomy. The Gunung Padang megalith builders may have been an elite. Perhaps they traveled from elsewhere, or simply coexisted with less advanced neighbours.
Hilman: "People think the prehistoric age was primitive, but this monument proves that wrong."
In the February issue of New Dawn magazine, researcher Frank Joseph provides further details on Gunung Padang and its similarities to other megalithic sites around the world. Several of Gunung Padang's standing stones have astronomical alignments, reinforced by indigenous names for the site. Locals refer to the ruins as Sundapura, the "Shrine of the Sun", while the hill itself is called Parahyang Padang, "Where the Sun Ancestors Dwell". Joseph also mentions the submerged continent of Sundaland, the area of southeast Asia that was above sea level before the end of the Last Ice Age, raising the tantalising possibility that the builders of Gunung Padang were the survivors of a lost civilisation. The article is a fascinating read, but before you grab a beverage and read it yourself, I'll give you this nugget:
Contributing to the stones’ high strangeness, most of them possess an unusual quality that may have additionally warranted their distant importation by the ancient builders to the top of Mount Padang. Most of its andesite blocks and columns resonate with a bell-like tone when struck with another hard object. They belong to a rare, geological occurrence known as lithophony, the property of some rocks to emit musical sounds under percussive stress.
Whether Hilman turns out to be correct remains to be seen. Gunung Padang has attracted pyramid theorists for quite a while, due to its obvious shape. However, Dr Hilman has presented a compelling case with the data to back it up. Graham Hancock is preparing to visit the site soon, as part of research for his follow-up to Fingerprints of the Gods, so we'll certainly be hearing more about this enigmatic site in the near future.
Further reading from the Grail archives:
- Darklore Volume 4 (Amazon US & UK).
- Göbekli Tepe: The World's Oldest Temple by Philip Coppens.
- 7000 Years Before Stonehenge: Unveiling Göbekli Tepe.
- Life With The Great Sphinx by Robert M. Schoch.
- Hearing the Ancient Past.
- Lost City Found In Cambodian Jungle.
- World's Oldest Calendar Discovered.
- Standing With Stones: Megalithic Britain.