Mysterious Gympie site will be wiped out by new highway
THE Gympie Pyramid has drawn plenty of attention, questions, quests and controversy for many decades.
Whether it is an urban myth, an old vineyard, an historic Chinese garden terrace from the gold mining years, a natural formation or a complete fantasy has never been completely settled, once and for all.
Located on the eastern outskirts of Gympie, the Pyramid was reportedly 30m high and consisted of a series of terraces up to 1.2m tall and 2.4m across, constructed of small and larger stones.
According to the website australianarchaeologicalanomalies.com.au it was first recorded by a European in the 1850s.
The is reported to have been brought up by the State Government for construction of Section D of the Cooroy to Curra Bruce Highway Bypass.
The pyramid is a terraced hill facing Tin Can Bay Road. According to another website wwwgympiepyramid.org it purportedly had stone structures on it, built before modern European settlement.
To the question of who built it, the website has this to say:
"To this day, nobody really knows. There have been many theories, from Phoenicians to the Spanish, and from aliens to modern Italian wine makers."
According to the website, an excavation of the site was carried out in 2007 when some people realised it would be destroyed by the highway bypass.
"Whilst nothing was found that could be easily used to ascribe a date or cultural function to the Gympie Pyramid site a number of important finds were made," the website states in its conclusion to the "dig".
"The slag material tends to indicate that some form of smelting and/or metal work was taking place on the site; in particular it seems that the iron stone on the site was being mined and refined," it says.
"The iron bars may or may not be connected with this work but it is worth noting that the iron bars were all found in very close proximity to where the smelting slag was found. It is also worth noting that the dimensions of the iron bars had a direct relationship to the chisel gouges in the three worked stones on the site.
"The chisel work on the stones seems to indicate that some of the larger stones were being shaped or broken along existing fracture lines to facilitate their use in the terrace walls or some other structure.
"Of great interest is the very large flat stone with the worked surface and hole which it seems unlikely, even unreasonable, to think of as anything but man made. Close study of this stone tends to ascribe it with some kind of unknown ritual or ceremonial function.
"The work with the bob cat in exposing the soil strata of the site totally debunks the already discredited claims that the site was some kind of massive vineyard as there is a clear inverse relationship between soil quality and energy expenditure involved in terrace construction.
"So we come back to the simple fact that in the Gympie Pyramid we have a site of extensive stone and earth works of a type such as exists nowhere else in Queensland or on the east coast of Australia, for which there is no date, no known function, no known origin and no historical evidence to suggest it is of European construction.
"We have a point blank refusal from the Queensland archaeological establishment to do any form of serious investigation into the site for the stated reason that such an investigation might give credibility to something which is "impossible".
We have a respected local academic writing a paper on the Gympie Pyramid claiming it is a vineyard built by a man of whom there is no records at all to suggest he ever built a stone terrace and who never owned any of the land of the site and when queried about this the academic then refuses to reveal her reference sources.
"And lastly we have the site facing destruction in the near future to make way for a highway by-pass."
The Gympie Pyramid website listed the email address firstname.lastname@example.org as the contact.
An email requesting an interview about the site has been sent.
Wikipedia has this to say about the Gympie Pyramid:
"The feature is subject to speculation, especially suggestions by fringe authors that it was constructed by an unknown civilization, such as Egyptians, South Americans, or Chinese.
"Rex Gilroy claims that he discovered the Gympie Pyramid in 1975 and claimed that the "Pyramid" was created by Egyptians who had mining operations in Australia centuries ago, with bases of operation reaching as far as the Blue Mountains in New South Wales.
"In his article on the subject, Anthony G. Wheeler writes, 'It seems that a terraced hill was claimed to be a pyramid on the basis of a nearby stone wall around a church being of unusual construction, supposed local legends and taboos that warned against intrusion into the pyramid area, the predominance in the area of a cactus of South or Central American origin, a statue (the 'Iron Man' or 'Gympie Ape') of non-aboriginal manufacture found nearby, and some crude inscriptions on a stone block dug up in the area.'
"Wheeler notes that an amateur archaeologist, Marilyn N. Pye, became convinced that the "pyramid" and other features were evidence of ancient settlement in Australia by the Incas of South America.
"While Pye argues the 'pyramid' is of Incan origin, Gavin Menzies states that it is 'direct and persuasive evidence of the Chinese visits to Australia' and that 'its size, height and shape are typical of Ming Dynasty observation platforms and it would have been wholly logical for the Chinese to build observatories to determine precisely the location of the phenomenal riches they had discovered.'
"Wheeler argues that the claims of an extraordinary origin for the pyramid are unfounded, writing, 'The facts are (probably) that the Gympie "Golden" pyramid is actually an ordinary hill terraced by early Italian immigrants for viticulture that has been disfigured by erosion and the removal of stone from the retaining walls for use elsewhere ... As for all the supporting statements by the various authorities, all but a few unimportant ones fade away as one after another proves to be a misquote, a falsification or an outright fabrication.
"Currently the Queensland Department of Main Roads is planning to build a road through the site."