On the Indonesian island of Java, about 120 kilometres away from Jakarta, the answer to a huge mystery is buried in a mountain. Potentially, it could force humanity to rethink our entire history.
Is there proof here of an ancient civilisation? One advanced enough to create the greatest ancient wonder of the world, but so old that any record of it was lost thousands of years before the Egyptians even thought about building their first pyramid?
The mystery intrigues me and so I hire a driver and set out early one morning to head to this site myself.
It’s called Gunung Padang and is far off the tourist trail. From Jakarta, it takes about four hours in a car to get there.
Although the distance isn’t so great, the roads get clogged with traffic as we pass through small towns and we’re forced to slow down as we wind through uneven volcanic terrain. The last hour is on an unsurfaced rocky path.
It’s hard to imagine what Gunung Padang looks like without seeing it for yourself. Let me try to explain, though.
To understand the potential significance – the reason it’s now a focal point for archaeologists – you need to look at it as two parts.