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Digital Subscriptions > Nexus Magazine > Dec 2015 - Jan 2016 > NAN MADOL, CITY OF SPIRITS ON THE REEF OF HEAVEN

NAN MADOL, CITY OF SPIRITS ON THE REEF OF HEAVEN

The West Pacific megalithic complex of Nan Madol, with its constructions of prismatic basalt columns linked by waterways, served as a spiritual centre for the Pohnpeian ancestors and reflected a sunken cultural heritage beyond its shores that was connected with the Pleiades.

© November 2015

Email: alhohan27@gmail.com

Cast like a net of gems over the not-so-Pacific Ocean, clusters of isles array its watery vastness that drowns nearly a third of the Earth’s surface. Raised from hidden depths by volcanic force, these islands with their secluded shores, sun-drenched and moonswept beaches, mangrove gardens, stone gods and temples grip the imagination.

One of the most renowned megalithic sites of these island worlds is Nan Madol, tagged "the Venice of the Pacific", perched upon the southeastern coastline of Pohnpei. In landmass, Pohnpei (formerly Ponape) is the third-largest member of the Federated States of Micronesia, a spray of over 600 islands so-named after their minuscule size. Pohnpei is a compound name meaning "upon an altar", in reference to a cloud-capped mountain in the island’s centre: at its summit is an altar of basalt together with a mangrove tree which symbolically image the birth of the isle from its ocean bed.

Known traditionally as Soun Nan-leng or "the Reef of Heaven", Nan Madol is a megalithic complex made up of over 90 man-made islets built on coral fill and spread 200 acres [81 hectares] over a lagoon edging Pohnpei’s surrounding barrier reef. The rectangular buildings of this lost metropolis, in such rare proximity to the natural systems of its environment, are assembled out of massive boulders and tidily stacked piles of prismatic basalt. The four-to eight-sided columns of this dark, dense and smooth basalt material formed millions of years ago. When lava cools, it can have the distinctive appearance of hewn lumber so that sections of buildings made out of it resemble the cribwork of log cabins.

Running around and in between the cryptic silence of the islets is a network of connecting waterways, while guarding Nan Madol from battering ocean tides are the ruins of breakwaters along its coast. The majority of crisscrossing waterways are today glutted with mangrove swamps, while thick tropical growth smothers nearly all of the islets—so making headway over either is a long, gruelling task. If left unchecked, the invasion of jungle will devour the entire site—and initiatives to restrain it are not forthcoming. To date, Nan Madol is not a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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In the December 2015 - January 2016 issue we have articles covering: PROJECT CENSORED’S TOP 25 NEWS STORIES; TRIALS & TRIBULATIONS: CLINICAL RESEARCH; HOW TO MANAGE THE IMMUNE SYSTEM; SACRED SOLIDS IN THE ATOMIC NUCLEUS—Part 2; NAN MADOL, CITY OF SPIRITS; SHADOW OF NEMESIS—Part 2; and SCIENCE NEWS, THE TWILIGHT ZONE, GLOBAL NEWS and more.
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