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The Jakarta Post
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‘Iconic ancient structures might be found’

  • Dina Indrasafitri

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta | Wed, February 8 2012 | 08:38 am
‘Iconic ancient structures might be found’

A government official and a group of local scientists claimed another discovery in Indonesia that they said might alter the archipelago’s history as we know it.

President-sanctioned researchers from the Prehistoric Catastrophic Disaster Research Team said on Tuesday, during a discussion, that the Mount Padang site in Cianjur, West Java, might be just the tip of a bigger structure buried underneath.

“What we thought was that the 1- and 5-meter stacks of stones on the surface were from the megalithic period, but apparently that is not so — it is a very amazing structure,” team member Danny Hilman said.

The team is under the coordination of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s special staff for disaster mitigation and social assistance Andi Arief.

According to Andang Bachtiar, who is from the same team, a recent drilling process in several areas of the site revealed that the construction 18 meters below the ground was likely man-made.

According to Lutfi Yondri from the Bandung Archaeology Agency, the structure takes the form of terraces (punden berundak) located on top of a hill 885 meters above sea level, according to altimeter calculations.

“The Mount Padang terrace construction consists of five terraces of different sizes,” he said in the paper handed out during the discussion.

Andang also said that they discovered sand that, according to its texture, had likely undergone a sieving process by human beings.

According to Andang, carbon dating processes revealed that the structure might date back as long ago as 4,000 years.

This means the structure is older than the Giza pyramid and that civilization in Indonesia had begun much earlier than currently assumed.

Danny said, however, that more carbon-dating results are on the way to strengthen the claim.

“This should be a cultural debate. The history lessons stating [Indonesia’s history began in] 4 AD should be revised,” said Andi.

The team also mentioned possible structures under a mosque in Aceh.

The claim was made just months after the findings that the Sadahurip peak in Garut, West Java, was in fact a pyramid older than Egypt’s Giza.

Andi said that he had reported the recent findings to Yudhoyono.

“Pak SBY was the first who said, ‘Carry on, whether it’s right or wrong, we will deal with it later,’” said Andi.

The researchers said they would conduct further research to determine the nature of the Sadahurip peak.

Danny argued a certain party prematurely leaked the findings and assumptions regarding the Sadahurip peak, thus causing the pyramid controversies.

“If it’s not proven [to be a pyramid], then I will announce that as well,” Andi said.

He added that the team would continue to try and discover the nature of the Sadahurip peak.

“Even though my main task is not to look for pyramids, as the issue is already a debate, I will force the prehistoric catastrophic team to do an excavation,” Andi said.


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