“Who controls the past, controls the future. Who controls the present, controls the past” (George Orwell)
“The past is still a place that is not safely settled” (Michael Ondaatje)
Recent archeological discoveries uncovered in Turkey at Gobekli Tepe together with Gundang Padang in Indonesia have called into question the historical time lines taught in our schools and universities for a better part of the last hundred years.
As British journalist Graham Hancock argued in his 1995 controversial best seller, Fingerprints of the Gods, civilization is likely to be much older and more mysterious than we thought. In brief, his thesis holds that an advanced civilization had been obliterated in a global cataclysm at the end of the last ice age. He further suggested that there were survivors who re-settled in various parts of our globe and attempted to pass along their superior knowledge to hunter gatherer peoples who had also survived. Despite scathing criticism and academic ridicule, Hancock resolved to continued his research. Masses of scientific evidence have since come to light which indicate that in fact, some 12,980 years ago, a comet broke into fragments and hit the Earth with multiple impact sites . Some of these impact zones on the North American ice cap and elsewhere generated tidal waves and floods, and threw a vast cloud of dust into the upper atmosphere. As a result, solar rays were often unable to reach the surface our planet which was enshrouded for more than a thousand years. This in turn set off the deep freeze during the Younger Dryas epoch which geologists regard as both tumultuous and mysterious.
Hancock believes it possible that survivors of that immense cataclysm, whose advanced civilization was lost during the Younger Dryas, may have created the huge highly sophisticated architectural and sculptural complex of Gobekli Tepe now dated back to 9,600BC; some 7000 or more years earlier than Stonehenge. This discovery and those dates have provided an unwelcome shock to archeologists and paleo-historians who have absolutely no place whatsoever for this information within their time honored paradigms. For Hancock however, who has become quite graciously accustomed to his outlier role, recent discoveries at Gundang Padang offer an even more stunning confirmation of his theory. Since its discovery by Dutch colonists in 1914, Gundang Padang has been known as the largest among many megalithic sites in Indonesia, and is dated by traditional archeologists at 500 -1500 BC. These dates however, were based upon guesswork rather than excavations. Located in Karyamukti village, Canjur regency, this eerie site covers a hill of 25 hectares constructed by means of a series of terraces, bordered by retaining walls, and wall side construction similar to Machu Picchu in Peru. Its name means “Mountain of Light” or “Mountain of Enlightenment” in the local Sundanese language and now appears to have been in continuous use as a sacred site as far back as 21,300 years ago. Locals refer to this place as “Sundapura”, Shrine of the Sun, and the hill itself is called Parahyang“, Where the Sun Ancestors Dwell”.
Gundang Padang is located in a seismically active region, and therefore many formerly standing stones have been broken and lie scattered about the summit. A number of those still standing have been found to have astronomical alignments that point to specific celestial phenomena, such as sunrises and sunsets on the solstices, as well as the vernal equinoxes. These stones have also been found to contain lithophonic qualities. A mysterious group of T shaped pillars formed from volcanic basalt known as andesite, resonate with a bell like tone when struck with another hard object. This configuration of lithophonic rocks, arranged in concentric circles, set upon the highest terrace, is referred to as “gemlan singing stones” for their arrangement and variety of musical tones. Gamelan is something of a generic term for Indonesian orchestras mostly comprised of tuned percussion instruments. Some of the notes these rocks produce have been identified as F,G,D and A by Hokky Situngkir from the Indonesian research institute Bandung Fe. Another mystery arises with the discovery, that these andesite stones are non-local and were brought from some distant quarry. (Frank Joseph,“Mankind’s Cradle of Civilization Found in Java?”- newdawnmagazine.com, February 3, 2013)
During a recent visit to Gundang Padang, Graham Hancock reported his findings in a newsletter that he sends out to those of us who follow his work. In conversation with senior geologist Danny Natawidjaja Ph.D., with the Research Center for Geotechnology at the Indonesian Institute of Sciences, the scientist clearly sets forth his belief that, “Everything that we have been taught about the origins of civilization may be wrong”. He and senior geologist Danny Hilman who holds of Ph.D. from California Institute of Technology are convinced that the hill is a 300 foot high, man-made step pyramid. Using tubular drills into an ancient glue or cement material between the worked stones, the geological teams came up with radiocarbon dates at depths 90 feet and more. These core samples yielded an astonishing sequence of dates from 20,000 to 22,000 BC and earlier. Ground penetrating and 3D radar, seismic tomography and geo-electric surveys have also revealed the existence of deeply buried, large and small rectilinear chambers and internal staircases. Natawidjaja maintains that the geophysical evidence is unambiguous and that the origins of Gundang Padang and the construction there, bears witness to the kinds of construction skills that were deployed to build pyramids in Egypt, as well as the largest megalithic sites in Europe. He further concludes that we’re looking at the work of a fairly advanced lost civilization.
These new, much earlier dates are problematic for those who are determined to hold on to an orthodox view of our historical time lines. One of the problems is that those dates from 9,600 BC and earlier belong to a period that archeologists call the “Upper Paleolithic” and take us back into the last Ice Age when Indonesia was not a series of islands as it is today. In those times Indonesia was part of a vast Southeast-Asian continent that geologists have dubbed “Sundaland”. The established archeological view of the state of civilization there until the end of the last Ice Age about 9,600 BC, was that our ancestors were primitive hunter gatherers incapable of any form of civilization or architectural feats. This not the first and most likely will not be the last time when geologists and archeologists don’t agree as to the age of a site. Perhaps you will remember the uproar amongst the Egyptian archeologists in 1992 when geologist Robert Schoch presented his findings that the erosion patterns along the base of the Great Sphinx of Giza were due to water rather than wind. As a result, he pushed the date of this monument from the traditional dates of around 2,500 BCE to somewhere in the range of 7000-5000 BCE, or even earlier. Howls of protest and charges of academic heresy continue, although the dating of the Gobekli Tepe man- made hill to 9,600 BC lends credence to Schoch‘s findings.
The next step toward solving the many mysteries of Gundang Padang, would seem to be a full scale archeological excavation. However, Indonesian archeologists who failed to recognize this hill as a pyramid, are vehemently opposed to any further excavations at Gundang Padang, which they believe would only result in further disturbance. This protest has been joined by volcanologist Sutikno Bronto who maintains that this terraced hill is simply the neck of a nearby volcano. (Michael Bachelard, “Digging for the truth at controversial megalithic site”, www.smh.com.au, July 27, 2013).
Still, little by little evidence is growing that discredits the orthodox timeline: first the Sphinx, then Gobekli Tepe and now Gundang Padang, all within the context of a colossal global cataclysm between 13,000 and 12,000 years ago. (www.grahamhancock.com)