Digging for the truth at Gunung Padang
The status and history of Indonesia’s Gunung Padang megalithic site are today in dispute. There is debate about whether the site is a result of natural weathering, or whether history will have to be rewritten to reflect prehistoric man’s involvement in its creation. To many researchers, like Graham Hancock and geologist Danny Hilman, there is little doubt that the structures found at the "Mountain of Light" are ancient and man-made.
[See more on Gudung Padang from Graham Hancock]
Discoveries at Gunung Padang are still revealing themselves, but the controversy of its origins wages on.
A skeptical take by The Sydney Morning Herald, followed by arguments from Shift Frequency highlighting scientific survey data from the site:
Digging for the truth at controversial megalithic site
By Michael Bachelard | The Sydney Morning Herald
It’s been raining at Gunung Padang, and the grass on the mountain’s precipitous eastern slope is slick with water and mud.
But geologist Danny Hilman, is undeterred. While others slip and fall around him, he trudges expertly down this hill tucked away among the volcanoes 120 kilometres south of Jakarta to show off two big holes he’s dug.
Since Dutch colonists discovered it in 1914, Gunung Padang has been known (though not widely) as the largest of a number of ancient megalithic sites in Indonesia.
Here our prehistoric forebears, moved by the area’s strikingly shaped columns of volcanic rock, built terraces into the mountaintop and arranged and stacked the stones for whatever indiscernible purpose motivated them.
And Hilman thinks there is much more to it under the surface. If he’s right - and Indonesia’s President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono is enthusiastically encouraging his investigations - then buried beneath the piles of ancient stone is by far the oldest pyramid on the planet.
Hilman says it could predate the next oldest by a dozen millenniums or more, suggesting an advanced ancient civilisation in Java. ’’It’s older than 9000 [years] and could be up to 20,000,’’ Hilman says, as he sits on a fallen column of stone. ’’It’s crazy, but it’s data.’’
Hilman, a senior geologist at Indonesia’s Centre for Geotechnical Research, believes that most of this 100 metre hill is actually man-made, built up on three stages over the millenniums by three different cultures.
If he is correct the find would rewrite prehistory in the same way as the discovery of a mini-human ’’hobbit’’ on the eastern Indonesian island of Flores rewrote paleoanthropology. The idea is being pushed by Hilman and a former activist turned politician, and member of Yudhoyono’s Democratic Party, Andy Arif.
In May, Hilman, who holds a PhD from the California Institute of Technology, was summoned to brief Yudhoyono on his findings. The President was so impressed that he appointed a government taskforce to investigate further, while Arif and Hilman continued with their work. President Yudhoyono urged haste, describing the team’s work as a ’’task of history … of important value for humanity’’. He even offered the services of the army’s earth-moving equipment.
Proving the authenticity of these ancient ruins among the banana palms and tea plantations of Cianjur has taken on the aura of a nationalistic quest.
A test being conducted on this day is one in a series of geo-electric surveys. Men in gumboots arrange long loops of yellow cable on huge columnar rocks denuded of their topsoil.
Hilman stands on the muddy edge and points out what he says are patterns in the arrangement of the rocks. These patterns reflect the geological testing already undertaken, he says - that stones usually found upright have been laid horizontally on beds of gravel. Some are stuck together by an ancient form of glue, he says. These have been carbon dated indicating the sites are well in excess of 9000 years old, he says.
Below this are walls he describes as rooms, internal steps and terraces, all evidence of a massive building, of human intelligence and planning.
’’The structure of the building is very good, it’s been defined by many lines of the geo-electric surveys, even 3D, even GPR [ground-penetrating radar] … and core samples,’’ Hilman says. ’’We conclude that the archaeological site, the arrangement of these columnar joints, has laminated the entire hill so it’s 100 metres thick. We also think it’s not just one layer of building, but multiple layers.’’ They may have discovered archaeological human structures or features to a depth of at least 15 metres.
’’It’s huge,’’ Hilman says. ’’People think the prehistoric age was primitive, but this monument proves that wrong.’’
But these views are loudly disputed. A petition signed in April by 34 Indonesian archaeologists and geologists and submitted to Yudhoyono agrees that the upper part of Gunung Padang is ’’the largest megalithic structure in south-east Asia’’, but the experts are deeply suspicious of the Arif team’s methods and motives, and the geological flag-waving it is trying to invoke.
Read the full article at: smh.com.au
Graham Hancock ~ Gunung Padang, “The Mountain Of Light”, West Java, Indonesia.
On site at Gunung Padang, “the Mountain of Light”, West Java, Indonesia. Photo shows Danny Hilman PhD (centre) senior geologist at Indonesia’s Geotechnology Centre, Robert Schoch PhD (left of picture) geology professor at Boston University (renowned for his geological redating of the Great Sphinx of Giza) and myself, Graham Hancock, at the right of the picture.
Dr Hilman is showing us some of the remote sensing results his team have obtained at Gunung Padang over the past two years of research. They have conducted extensive surveys with electrical resistivity, ground penetrating radar and seismic tomography and have analysed drill cores from selected areas across this mysterious and complex site.
A brief synopsis is that there are large man-made structures of columnar basalt down to 15 metres beneath the surface with carbon found in the soils between the blocks giving dates that extend back as far as 26,000 years, but with intermediate dates of 17,000 years ago, 12,500 years ago and 11,600 years ago rising to as recently 2,500 years ago at the presently exposed surface. There is no doubt that the columnar basalt elements at all depths reflect human construction since they are laid in horizontal and in some cases sloping layers, whereas columnar basalt in its natural state is found only in the vertical formations.
The implication is that we are looking at a megalithic site that has been in continuous use and has undergone continuous modification and development from before the last glacial maximum (21,300 years ago), through the meltdown of the Ice Age between 21,300 years ago and 11,600 years ago and on through to historical times. Indeed the site is STILL held sacred today: “Gunung Padang” in the Sundanese language indigenous to West Java means “Mountain of Light” or “Mountain of Enlightenment” and local people still revere its powerful spiritual qualities and resort to it as a place of reflection and meditation.
Needless to say, complex, large-scale megalithic constructions that are more than 20,000 years old (or 17,000 years old or 12,000 years old for that matter) cannot be explained by the current historical paradigm which tells us that the world in that period was populated only by “primitive” hunter gatherer societies incapable of such organisational and architectural feats. The overall appearance of Gunung Padang is roughly that of a step pyramid and interestingly Dr Hilman tells us that the remote sensing studies have revealed the existence of not just two, as I reported previously but in fact three intriguing voids concealed deep within this 100 metre (300 feet) tall “pyramid”. Of these the largest lies at a depth of between 20 and 30 metres and is roughly 15 metres long and 10 metres high.
Read the full article at: shiftfrequency.com
Tune into Red Ice Radio:
Graham Hancock - Hour 1 - War God & Spanish Conquest of the Aztec Empire
Graham Hancock - Entangled, Supernatural, Shamanism & The Origins of Consciousness
Robert Schoch - The Mystery of the Sphinx, Forgotten Civilization & Catastrophic Solar Outbursts
Roundtable - Hour 1 - Man’s Genesis & The Future Direction of Humanity
Hugh Newman - Earth Grids, Megaliths, Sacred Sites, Fertility Technology & Indigo Children