The Ancient Underwater Pyramids of Japan.
November 1, 2000 6:55 PM   Subscribe

The Ancient Underwater Pyramids of Japan. "A STRUCTURE thought to be the world's oldest building, nearly twice the age of the great pyramids of Egypt, has been discovered. The rectangular stone ziggurat under the sea off the coast of Japan could be the first evidence of a previously unknown Stone Age civilisation, say archeologists. The monument is 600ft wide and 90ft high and has been dated to at least 8000BC. The oldest pyramid in Egypt, the Step Pyramid at Saqqara, was constructed more than 5,000 years later."
posted by lagado (11 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Of course my first impression was that this was a hoax. My second impression is that these people are seriously self-delusional.

"The structure off Yonaguni, a small island southwest of Okinawa, was first discovered 75ft underwater by scuba divers 10 years ago and locals believed it was a natural phenomenon."

I love the web ;-j

posted by lagado at 6:58 PM on November 1, 2000

More amazing pictures.
posted by lagado at 6:59 PM on November 1, 2000

ATTENTION: this pyramid has been deemed a hoax by the Ministry of Truth. Please pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!

But seriously, that really does look like basalt formations. I mean hey, I could be wrong, but I'd put my money on basalt. I will, naturally, disavow any knowledge of this statement....
posted by aramaic at 7:04 PM on November 1, 2000

Isn't there a similar structure off of the coast of Bermuda (or some Carribbean island)?

Whether it's real or not, I don't think it's at all improbable that there were multiple stone age civilizations some 10-15 thousand years ago. And it wouldn't be surprising if most of it was lost, as that time frame coincides with the end of the Ice Age, and would mean coastal flooding throughout the world (among other climate changes). But it's all speculative.
posted by mkn at 7:23 PM on November 1, 2000

I remember reading or seeing on TV that it was a natural formation. It was featured on a TV show in the UK and then failed to live up to examination.
posted by davidgentle at 8:20 PM on November 1, 2000

Whether it's real or not, I don't think it's at all improbable that there were multiple stone age civilizations some 10-15 thousand years ago.

Its fun to speculate. What caugt my eye was the supposed date (8000 BC). It's not to say impossible, but that's very early based on what is known about other prehistoric societies and what we know about China and Japan's development at this time.

A society that builds monolithic structures follows the pattern: emergence of agriculture, a dramatic rise in population density (by a factor of ten), the emergence of chiefdoms, a unified religious outlook and a pool of available manpower.

These conditions existed in Mesopotamia (Iraq) by 3500 BC, in Egypt by 3000 BC and in Mexico by 1 AD. Agriculture took a very long time to develop and spread around the world. The Japanese in 8000 BC were still hunter gatherers.

Nevertheless, the oldest pottery in the world has been found in Japan and is dated from around 10000 BC.

But I'll go with the basalt theory.

posted by lagado at 8:58 PM on November 1, 2000

It could be just a case of humans trying to see 'order' on natural phenomenon. But if you've read the works of Graham Hancock, Robert Bauvel and others, you'd see there is a strong case for civilization emerging much earlier than most conventional thought.
Check this out sometime if you're interested...and take with a grain of salt.
posted by black8 at 11:11 PM on November 1, 2000

I'm a devoté of the Guns Germs and Steel point of view, which is that you need a certain critical mass of things to happen before you can have a real civilization develop. One is an abundance of easily-grown and easily-harvested grains; another is an abundance of domesticable livestock; and another is communication with many nearby human communities. I don't see any of those in early Okinawa. Indeed, his whole argument was sparked by a discussion of why Western societies seemed to have so much "cargo" (as his New Guinean friend put it) and Polynesian societies did not.
posted by dhartung at 12:01 PM on November 2, 2000

I think this was the first thing I ever 'blogged, back in 1998!
posted by s10pen at 12:07 PM on November 2, 2000

Why all that green? is it slime or mould? I thought the picture was of a Taleban dude searching for artifacts to destroy. Some Brillow and scouring powder could make that place a tourist attraction for westerners.
posted by Postroad at 6:07 AM on April 1, 2001

Fred, is your goal to comment in every thread on Mefi? Actually it's not a bad idea, there are plenty of folks lurking about in the archives.


posted by lagado at 7:54 PM on April 3, 2001

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