Scientists Discover ‘World’s Oldest’ Pyramid In Indonesia

A massive underground pyramid hidden beneath a hillside in Indonesia far outdates Stonehenge or the Giza Pyramids and may come to rival the oldest megalithic structures ever built by humans.

Archeologists believe the Gunung Padang pyramid in West Java to be over 16,000 years old.

The pyramid, a 98-ft-deep ‘megalith’ submerged within a hill of lava rock, was first re-discovered by Dutch explorers in 1890 and according to the latest radiocarbon dating of the ancient site, may also be the oldest known man-made construction of its size,

The testing has placed early construction of the pyramid, with its hundreds of steps chiseled from andesite lava, back to more than 16,000 years ago, during the last Ice Age.

The Mail Online reports: New carbon dating shows Gunung Padang is probablt oer 10,000 years ago – making it THREE TIMES OLDER than Stonehenge and Egyptian pyramids

That means Gunung Padang is likely to be over 10,000 years older than not just all of the great monuments and pyramids of Giza in Egypt, but also England’s legendary Stonehenge.

As with recent evidence that the Egyptian Sphynx was built with savvy use of wind erosion, the hunter-gathers who built Gunung Padang made an architectural virtue of working with, not against, their local conditions.

The Indonesian pyramid’s first and deepest layer, the researchers found, was carved from the site’s natural wealth of cooled lava flows.

Gunung Padang may even prove to be thousands of years older than the Göbekli Tepe ‘megalith’ discovered in Turkey, the last frontrunner for ‘world’s oldest.’

Scientists said the structure promises to upend the conventional wisdom on just how ‘primitive’ hunter-gather societies actually were — revealing the true ‘engineering capabilities of ancient civilizations.’

Scholars have spent over a century debating whether the underground structure known as Gunung Padang (which means ‘mountain of enlightenment’ in the local tongue) really constitutes a man-made pyramid, and not just a natural geological formation.

But between 2011 and 2015, geologist Danny Hilman Natawidjaja of Indonesia’s National Research and Innovation Agency led a crew of archaeologists, geophysicists and geologists to literally get to the bottom of this ancient mystery.

Using ground penetrating radars to take subsurface images, core drilling and ‘trench’ excavation techniques, Natawidjaja and his fellow researchers were able to probe down into the very first layers of Gunung Padang — which lay over 9 stories (98 feet, or 30 meters) below its surface.

‘This study strongly suggests that Gunung Padang is not a natural hill,’ the archeologists wrote last month, in the journal Archaeological Prospection, after years of analyzing data from those past trips, ‘but a pyramid-like construction.’

At the pyramid’s core, the team found what they described as ‘meticulously sculpted’ and ‘massive’ lava-stone structures made of andesite: a fine-grained kind of igneous rock.

This inner-most chamber, dubbed Unit 4, ‘likely originated as a natural lava hill,’ they wrote, ‘before being sculpted and then architecturally enveloped during the last glacial period,’ sometime between 16,000 to 27,000 years ago.

Scientists describe the past 11,500 years or so of human existence (and counting), as an ‘interglacial period’ between Ice Ages known as the Holocene.

The radiocarbon dating technique, used by Natawidjaja and his group to pinpoint Unit 4’s age, relies on a common radioactive isotope of the carbon atoms found all over the world to measure the age of old, preserved ‘carbon-based’ life.

Because of the radioactive rate of decay of this isotope, carbon-14, scientists can accurately measure the age of dead organic material as far back as 60,000 years ago.

To make sure that their radiocarbon dating was accurate, Natawidjaja’s team took pains to select the right organic soil samples from their drill cores and trench walls, samples that were not tainted by fresh roots from modern vegetation.

The researchers now believe that Gunung Padang was built across millennia, in ‘complex and sophisticated stages.’