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Archaeology & History

Gunung Padang: 'world's oldest pyramid' dates back up to 27,000 years

By T.K. Randall
November 4, 2023 · Comment icon 29 comments

Gunung Padang in Indonesia.
Could this site date back 27,000 years ? Image Credit: CC BY-SA 4.0 RaiyaniM
This enigmatic archaeological site in Indonesia has the potential to be the oldest monolithic structure on Earth.
Situated in West Java, Indonesia, Gunung Padang has long remained one of the most mysterious and hotly debated sites in archaeology.

Located 885 meters above sea level, the site, which covers an extinct volcano, consists of a series of steps and terraces and is home to thousands of hexagonal stone columns that are strewn everywhere.

For years, scientists have struggled to agree on exactly how old the site is, but now new radiocarbon dating tests have revealed that the oldest parts of the structure date back at least 16,000 years and could even date back as far as 27,000 years.

Construction was abandoned around 14,000 BC before beginning again between 7900 to 6100 BC.
The most recent part of the structure was completed sometime between 2000 and 1100 BC.

If Gunung Padang really is over 16,000 years old, then it predates the Egyptian pyramids, Stonehenge and even Turkey's Gobekli Tepe - a site that had already shaken up our understanding of what our ancestors were capable of around 11,000 years ago.

Beyond that, if construction of the site dates back 27,000 years, then it completely rewrites the history books and opens up big questions about our history.

Researcher Graham Hancock, who covered Gunung Padang in his Netflix series Ancient Apocalypse, has long suggested that the site was built by a civilization long lost to time.

If these new findings are to be believed, he may have been on to something all along.

Source: BBC News | Comments (29)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #20 Posted by Abramelin 26 days ago
They found carbon around the building blocks of the Great Pyramid. This carbon was dated to around 2300 BCE (I don't remember the exact date). You can jump high and low, but these results prove the GP was built during the reign of dynastic Egyptians, and not by aliens or some ancient 'super civilization'.
Comment icon #21 Posted by Harte 26 days ago
Wow. A chamber in a volcano. Who'da thunk it? Oh. Wait. But I'm shocked at the date. The samples were soil organics - dirt's not THAT old, is it? Oh. Wait. Hey, didn't this same claim come up about 6-7 years ago? Well, surely someone has replicated it by now, right? Oh. Wait. Harte
Comment icon #22 Posted by Hammerclaw 26 days ago
The confirmed dates are well within the historical era. The "construction" seems to be the stacking of naturally geometric shaped basalt blocks and the structural features, walls and location more characteristic of a fortification, rather than a pyramid. It's rather reminiscent of the construction of Nan Madol in Micronesia.  There's been no confirmation of the wildly exaggerated age attributed to the construction, no papers, no peer review.
Comment icon #23 Posted by Hammerclaw 26 days ago
Ambassador Molari, is that you?
Comment icon #24 Posted by Piney 25 days ago
Don't insult Londo. He warned the humans about ****ing with the Minbari, did a excellent job of getting rid of the Shadows on his planet and made a good ruler. I liked how he took care of Morden too.    
Comment icon #25 Posted by Windowpane 25 days ago
Your point about "no peer review" isn't really altogether true, Hammerclaw. This paper:  Geo-archaeological prospecting of Gunung Padang buried prehistoric pyramid in West Java, Indonesia - Danny Hilman Natawidjaja et al. (which I suspect is what inspired the story in the UM Archaeology & History News) is about to be published in Archaeological Prospection, a Wiley Online Library journal that is subject to peer review. However, Jason Colavito (Newsletter - Vol. 23, Issue 19, November 5, 2023) points out that: Readers with long memories might recall that, back in 2011, Semir Osmanagic's ... [More]
Comment icon #26 Posted by Abramelin 25 days ago
Yes. I even remember part of the username of the one who started a thread about it on UM: Nusantara something. Considering the name, s/he was from Indonesia.
Comment icon #27 Posted by Hammerclaw 25 days ago
About to be published isn't published. So, I was correct. It's been about to be published for twelve years. 
Comment icon #28 Posted by Windowpane 24 days ago
(Well: yes: but your point was not whether it was "published," as such, but whether it was subject to "peer review" ... ) Two more articles, with an analysis of Hilman's methodology: Gunung Padang: What Archaeology Really Says. August 28, 2023 Carl Feagans. There is no new evidence that Gunung Padang is a 24000 year old pyramid (André Costopoulos, archeologist, McGill University) - November 8, 2023   
Comment icon #29 Posted by fred_mc 24 days ago
Yes, I'm sure you know better than all archaelogists, scholars and text books in the world ? .

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