Pyramid Structure in Java 9,000-years-old

On the Verge of a Major Discovery – Pyramid Structure in Java May be More than 9,000-years-old

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Geologist Danny Hilman is on the verge of a major discovery – 120 kilometres south of Jakarta in Gunung Padang, sits an ancient arrangement of large stones atop a hill. Now evidence suggests that they are like the tip of a very large iceberg beneath the surface. Hilman, backed by a government taskforce, believes the stones are the top of a pyramid that has been covered over the millennia and that it is at least 9,000 years old, which would make it the oldest pyramid every to be discovered.

Gunung Padong is known for having the largest number of megalithic sites in Indonesia. It was here that prehistoric humans built terraces into the mountaintop and arranged large stones for an unknown purpose. But now it looks like they accomplished much, much more.

Hilman, a senior geologist at Indonesia’s Centre for Geotechnical Research, has found evidence to suggest that most of the 100 metre hill is actually man-made, built up on three stages over thousands of years by three different cultures.

A series of geo-electric surveys, ground-penetrating radar, core samples, and analysis of the stonework has revealed patterns in the arrangement of the rocks and stones that are usually found upright have been laid horizontally on beds of gravel. Some are stuck together by an ancient form of glue and below the piles of stones is evidence of rooms, internal steps and terraces, all evidence of massive building, of human intelligence and planning.

Perhaps the most fascinating and controversial of the findings was that carbon dating on samples found within the glue binding the rocks indicated the site is well in excess of 9000 years.  ''It's older than 9000 [years] and could be up to 20,000,'' Hilman said. ''It's crazy, but it's data.''

Hilman’s research so impressed the President of Indonesia, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, that he appointed a government taskforce to assist the investigation and even offered up the services of the army’s earth-moving equipment. President Yudhoyono has urged haste, describing the team’s work as a “task of history… of important value for humanity”.

But like any discovery that conflicts with mainstream beliefs about our history, Hilman’s work has done more than ruffle a few feathers. A group of Indonesian archaeologists and geologists have submitted a petition to the President about ''plans to involve common people as volunteers” and accusing Hilman of carrying out work without scientific norms of conservation knowledge. They hint strongly that archaeologists and vulcanologists should also be involved, although it is unclear whether that is due to professional jealousies, a genuine wish to support the project, or attempts to prevent such controversial findings from threatening mainstream views.

Already, one volcanologist, Sutikno Bronto, has refuted evidence that the structure is man-made and has claimed it is the result of a natural weathering process. This echoes similar discoveries, like the Bosnian pyramids , where mainstream scientists continue to refute overwhelming evidence that the structure is man-made.

Another very ‘unscientific’ argument was put forward by an archaeologist who did not wish to be named: “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?''. In other words, since we cannot understand it, it must not be true?

Hilman realises the challenge he has ahead of him: “It's a strong case but not an easy case. We are up against the world's belief.'' But neither Hilman, nor the President, is prepared to back down.  In fact, this is not the first time the President of Indonesia has challenged the status quo. 

In 2008, a man promised to power Indonesia with ''blue energy'' - fuel made only from water.  The President allocated $1.2 million to the project and visited the centre three times before its proponent simply disappeared, later turning up in hospital, his work in tatters. That, however, is another story…

By April Holloway

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