Yonaguni Monument – Circa 10 000 BC

During the last Ice Age, civilisations flourished on what were then the coastal areas of the many parts of the world which, despite glaciations further north, still enjoyed a very pleasant, temperate climate. These ancient settlements are proving to have been much more advanced urban cities than current models of prehistory are prepared to acknowledge.

One trace of evidence of this lost civilisation is found in the Yonaguni Monument. This is a massive underwater rock formation off the coast of Yonaguni, the southernmost of the Ryukyu Islands, in Japan.

If any part of the Monument was deliberately constructed or modified, it must have happened during the last Ice Age, when the sea level was much lower than it is today (e.g. 39 m lower around 10,000 years BCE) and the monument was above water.

Indeed, this area has experienced major rises in sea levels during and since the Pleistocene (“Ice Age”) and based on well-established standard curves of sea-level rises in the region, as recently as 8,000 to 10,000 years ago the Yonaguni Monument may have been above local sea level.

The main feature (the “Monument” proper) is a rectangular formation measuring about 150 m by 40 m, and about 27 m tall; the top is about 5 m below sea level. Most of its top surface consists of a complex series of terraces and broad steps, mostly rectangular, bounded by near vertical walls.

Kimura claims to have identified at least 15 analogous formations off Yonaguni and Okinawa, including a castle, linked by submerged roads and water channels.

The structure off the coast of Yonaguni has been hailed as “the world’s oldest building” (Barot, 1998), taking the form of a “stone ziggurat”.


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