WASHINGTON — An infinite pyramid-like construction in Indonesia that will signify the stays of an historical temple hid underground for hundreds of years.
Scientists introduced proof of the exceptional building Dec. 12 right here on the annual assembly of the American Geophysical Union (AGU).
Situated atop Mount Padang in West Java, the construction is topped by an archaeological website that was found within the early 19th century and holds rows of historical stone pillars. However the sloping “hill” beneath is not a part of the pure, rocky panorama; it was crafted by human palms, scientists found. [The 25 Most Mysterious Archaeological Finds on Earth]
“What’s beforehand seen as simply floor constructing, it is taking place — and it is an enormous construction,” mentioned Andang Bachtiar, an unbiased geologist from Indonesia who supervised core drilling and soil evaluation for the mission.
Although the buried construction might superficially resemble a pyramid, it differs from related pyramids constructed by the Mayans, Danny Hilman Natawidjaja, lead mission researcher and a senior scientist with the Indonesian Institute of Sciences, advised Dwell Science. Whereas Mayan pyramids are typically symmetrical, this construction is elongated, with what seems to be a half-circle within the entrance.
“It is a distinctive temple,” Natawidjaja mentioned.
He and his colleagues suspected that the uncovered megalith may be greater than it appeared, as a result of some partly uncovered options within the present archaeological website did not fairly match the standing stones. The “peculiar” form of the hill additionally stood out from the panorama, he mentioned.
“It isn’t like the encircling topography, which could be very a lot eroded. This appears to be like very younger. It appeared synthetic to us,” Natawidjaja defined.
Utilizing an array of methods to see underground — together with ground-penetrating radar surveys, X-ray tomography, 2D and 3D imaging, core drilling, and excavations — the researchers regularly uncovered a number of layers of a large construction. It unfold over an space of round 15 hectares (150,000 sq. meters) and had been constructed up over millennia, with layers representing totally different durations.
On the very high have been pillars of basalt rocks framing step terraces, with different preparations of rock columns “forming partitions, paths and areas,” the scientists reported at AGU. They estimated this layer to be about three,000 to three,500 years previous.
Beneath the floor, to a depth of about 10 ft (three m), was a second layer of comparable rock columns, regarded as 7,500 to eight,300 years previous. And a 3rd layer, extending 49 ft (15 m) beneath the floor, is greater than 9,000 years previous; it may even date to 28,000 years in the past, in line with the researchers. Their surveys additionally detected a number of chambers underground, Natawidjaja added.
Right this moment, native folks nonetheless use the uncovered website on the high of the construction as a sacred vacation spot for prayer and meditation, and this is also the way it was used hundreds of years in the past, Natawidjaja mentioned.
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