Gunung Padang – Remarkable Megalithic Site In Indonesia
A. Sutherland - AncientPages.com - The megalithic complex on top of Gunung Padang has been known since the 1800s, but it was until 2011 that archaeologists published their studies regarding this one of the most fascinating sites in Indonesia.
Mount Padang Cianjur Megalithic Site.Image credit: Ilham.nurwansah - source
This remarkable megalithic site known as Gunung Padang is located 885 meters above sea level and 120 kilometers south of Jakarta, in Cianjur regency, West Java Province of Indonesia.
It occupies a hill covered with a series of terraces bordered by retaining stone walls of stone that are accessed by about 400 successive andesite steps rising approximately 95 meters.
The Sundanese people believed that Gunung Padang resulted from King Siliwangi's attempt to build a palace in one night. The asymmetric Punden Berundak faces northwest to Mount Gede and was constructed for the purpose of worship. The site was completed by 5000 BC, but some experts suggest it is much older.
According to ancient beliefs stretching back to antiquity, Gunung Padang is a sacred place. Gunung Padang (literally: Mount Padang, or Mount "Meadow/Field,"), means in the local Sundanese language "Mountain of Light" or "Mountain of Enlightenment."
Since Dutch colonists discovered it in 1914, Gunung Padang has been known as the largest among ancient megalithic sites in Indonesia.
Similar columns were used to build the Nan Madol on the island of Pohnpei in Micronesia.
Artist’s impression of Gunung Padang as it would have looked in antiquity. Credits:© Pon S Purajatnika
Where was the source of rock columns used to build the complex? The columns - perfectly suited for building different structures, even the gigantic ones - represent a unique geological formation, occurring in only a few places in the world.
Analysis of several core samples of the hill and structure have revealed greater and greater age the deeper the researchers looked. From 5000 years to 8000 years, to 10,000 years and all the way up to a reported 23,000 years old and even earlier!
These unbelievable results of the survey make Gunung Padang the oldest known structure of any kind on Earth, in fact. It is believed that the Gunung Padang structure is not a natural hill but a man-made pyramid and the origin of its construction goes back long before the end of the last Ice Age.
The sophisticated construction of Gunung Padang is massive even at the deepest levels, and its builders had extraordinary construction skills and certainly were not primitive men.
Excavations conducted in 2014 were temporarily halted when archaeologists discovered a large number of man-made artifacts and a massive structure below the surface.
The survey of the site indicates it was built in four different eras by those who were skilled engineers and possessed knowledge of astronomy and the surrounding area.
If the dating of Gunung Padang is correct, then this megalithic site was constructed when sea levels were as much as 130 meters (430 feet) lower than the present, and the current Java Sea was not a sea but fertile land.
In the landscape of this mysterious megalithic site is also included a 300-foot high pyramid whose base materials date back to 22,000 to 20,000 BC.
A sophisticated culture flourished in the region, and it was many millennia ago. Who were these people? What happened to them? Did they manage to escape before the land sank beneath the devastating waves?
Written by – A. Sutherland - AncientPages.com Senior Staff Writer
Updated on September 12, 2021
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