Archeologists have possibly found the first evidence that suggests a previous unknown Stone Age civilization. They found the evidence laying under the sea off the coasts of Japan, the rectangular stone ziggurat is thought to be the world's oldest building, nearly twice the age of the great pyramids.
It is dated back to at least 8000 B.C. The oldest pyramid in Egypt (the step pyramid) was built over 5000 years later. The monument stands a magnificent 600 feet wide by 90 foot in height. 75 feet under the water, discovered by scuba divers 10 years ago, the structure of Yonaguni was thought to be of that of natural phenomenon. A small island southwest of Okinawa was the given location.
Having the conclusion given to us that the five layer structure was in fact man made was taught to us by the first professor on scene Masaki Kimura, a geologist at Ryukyu University in Okinawa.
"The object has not been manufactured by nature. If that had been the case, one would expect debris from erosion to have collected around the site, but there are no rock fragments there", he said. Adding 'The discovery of what appears to be a road surrounding the building was further evidence that the structure was made by humans'.
It basically looks like a series of huge steps, each about a meter high. Essentially, it's a cliff face like the side of a stepped pyramid. It's a very interesting structure. "It's possible that natural water erosion combined with the process of cracked rocks splitting created such a structure, but I haven't come across such processes creating a structure as sharp as this", added Robert Schoch, another professor of geology at Boston University.
Nearby this magnificent finding were also smaller underwater stone mounds, this taught us evidential that the structures were man made. The smaller structures known as mini-ziggurats are very much of like the main building being made of stepped slabs and sand 2 meters high by 10 meters wide.
Kimura was not in full agreement of how the building came to us, meaning it was the thought of Kimura that is was too early to know who built the monument or its purpose."The structure could be an ancient religious shrine, possibly celebrating an ancient deity resembling the god Nirai-Kanai, whom locals say gave happiness to the people of Okinawa from beyond the sea. This could be evidence of a new culture as there are no records of a people intelligent enough to have built such a monument 10, 000 years ago, " he said. "This could only have been done by a people with a high degree of technology, probably coming from the Asian continent, where the oldest civilizations originate. There would have to have been some sort of machinery involved to have created such a huge structure."
Another professor stepped forward to give his opinion on the subject ad it was that of having learned that the structure dated back to 80000 B.C. It was at this time when the land on which it was constructed was submerged at the end of the last ice age. Teruaki Ishii went on to say "I hope this site is artificial as it would be very exciting. But at this time I feel it is too early to say. I think the structure could be natural, but part of it may have been made".
The Neolithic period which was around 9000 B.C was when the first signs presented us with civilization in Japan. Archeological records show nothing to suggest that a presence of civilization was advanced enough to have created such a masterpiece like the ziggurat.
"If it is confirmed that the site is as old as 10, 000 years and is man-made, then this is going to change an awful lot of the previous thinking on southeast Asian history. It would put the people who made the monument on a par with the ancient civilization of Mesopotamia and the Indus Valley." Jim Mower, archeologist of University College London.