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Why did primitive humans begin building large stone structures?

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posted on Dec, 29 2014 @ 03:18 AM
More specifically I am wondering:
Why/how stone masonry arose seemingly independently in various locations across the planet?
Does anyone know what the current consensus is in the scientific community? Do we have a hypothesis? Or is it simply obvious when studying the different cultures?

Some basic information:
To my knowledge the scientific community assume that modern man (Homo Sapiens) has been around for at least 100,000 years. The indigenous people of the Americas are said to have arrived 13,500 years ago, or perhaps even earlier. But according to our findings modern man didn't begin to make large stone structures until around 7,000 years ago. And within a few thousands years people were constructing things all around the planet seemingly independently of each other- which when viewed in the scope of time that homo sapiens have been around, seems like an amazing coincidence.

List of the oldest buildings in the world

So - why did we do it?

My own thoughts/explanation:
Now I do understand that early man did suffer a lot of hardship - and some 70,000 years ago, there weren't so terrible many of us around. So perhaps we just never got around to building stuff, what with all the hunting and gathering we were doing - not to mention the cave painting. I assume that our interest in constructing things in stone, most likely is tightly linked to the development of agriculture. Both using the constructions in order to track the movement of the sun, and hence the seasons, and properly also just to store or process crops. Agriculture does seem to have started around the time the first people left for America 13,500 years ago. So it would make sense why this practice would be found with indigenous people across the planet, and if agriculture is what lead to stone masonry I guess that explains it .
Also it is no secret that our even earlier ancestors liked to make their tools from stone, and sometimes took shelter in caves. So perhaps construction buildings were just the logical next step for our species.
Also there are cases of actual cave building/modifying that goes back around 12,000 years as far as I can understand.

Never the less, I can't help but be amazed that it happened, independently around the planet, across such a short period of time in our history - and seemingly evolved quite rapidly too. I mean - some ancient structures are freaking amazing.

And the reason why I have put this on the science and technology forum, is because I am interested in the current scientific explanation, since I can't seem to find any. I am well aware of the many conspiracy theories on the subject.
edit on 06/06/12 by Mads1987 because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 29 2014 @ 03:24 AM
a reply to: Mads1987

Im unsure but consider there was various reasons such as

- stone lasts a long time in all weather conditions
- large stone blocks could be used as sun dials
- Granite stone appears to have unique resonance properties
- to impress a friend a foe

Im sure the list can be extended.

posted on Dec, 29 2014 @ 03:24 AM
Because stone last's and wood doesn't.

I think to survive a cataclysm they all saw coming. It's interesting the earliest are from Europe no ? you'd think the cradle of civilization would have more representation ? or even something from Sumer ? perhaps the French are the first peoples ?
edit on 29-12-2014 by mazzroth because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 29 2014 @ 03:29 AM
I agree with the responses so far. Stone does last longer.

But consider how long mankind have existed without building structures in stone - and then consider that all of the sudden we start independently around most of the planet - in the parts that were inhabited anyway.

I am not looking for any supernatural explanation. I just find it amazing.

posted on Dec, 29 2014 @ 03:41 AM
Because they were bored & the internet didn't exists yet.

posted on Dec, 29 2014 @ 03:55 AM
transition from hunter gatherers to agriculture. with the population able to stay in a place for longer periods of time stone work makes more sense due to permanence of it and fire safety. Stone is also easier to use defensively for permanent settlements. you cannot burn it down. in some places there isn't much wood anyway. you don't have to rethatch stone and redo the poles on a yearly basis.

beyond the transition from nomadic lifestyles to permanent residence for agricultural people; and the tactical significance; you then have people grouping together around whatever the local industry is. Ancilliary comerce grows the towns. this magnifies the need for permanent sturdy structures and defense thereof. these Cities then have a ruler or government that wants to impress and intimidate.

posted on Dec, 29 2014 @ 04:30 AM
"I am the most intelligent creature on this planet, more so than those who are under me, for I am a god among men. I will build things the likes that no one else has ever seen, grand, monstrous things, and those who follow will see that who I am, is indeed glorious."

^^ Pretty sure most pharaohs believed that.. and we do like to make pretty things in our name.
edit on 29-12-2014 by sn0rch because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 29 2014 @ 04:36 AM
Because they could & were possibly more advanced technologically then we give them credit for. Imagine our society collapsing & we disappear then for a few thousand years later what you think will survive? Nothing except the statue of liberty and many other structures like it.

We might be seeing only a small percentage of their past, who is to know they had what we have now & possibly more & has disappeared through the passage of time & only their stone structures stand today!

Perhaps they knew that their stone structures will survive for eons & maybe time capsules!
edit on 29-12-2014 by MegaSpace because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 29 2014 @ 04:39 AM
We came out of the last ice age few in number.

I suggest that there may have been a previous civ that was wiped out when the ice came.

There are just too many co-incidences around the planet, pyramids being the obvious one.

Wars, religions, regimes etc etc all tend to destroy history to control the population.

Right now, history is being rewritten to please the PC crowd. Roman history is romanticized. It is taught in school in glowing terms rather than the truth of ruthless empire builders who nailed people on crosses, fed them to lions etc etc.

So, is it any wonder we don't know our own history.


posted on Dec, 29 2014 @ 04:53 AM
a reply to: Mads1987

Most obvious reason that springs to mind is protection from other bands of humans. Stone structures are also rather resilient to attack and do not burn. Stone structures can retain heat from say a fire built inside said structure, then there is the protection from the outdoor elements like weather and wild animals to consider. Stone is also rather more permanent than other building materials available at the time.
edit on 29-12-2014 by andy06shake because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 29 2014 @ 04:58 AM
the pyramids or mounds basically mimicked nature... so man organized to leave proof they mastered nature
(man-made mountains, man-made caves, etc.)

chiseling or dressing large stones. crafting smaller bricks, transporting earth were all available, whereas concrete or diverse wood products (plywood etc.) was not in man's ability to create..... so labor intense efforts with primitive tools was used to create the various edifices (limited to what nature naturally provided as material)

might even be associated with the questionable '100th Monkey Principle' on the global scale

posted on Dec, 29 2014 @ 04:58 AM

originally posted by: Mads1987
I agree with the responses so far. Stone does last longer.

Stone does last longer, but I know of two ancient monuments not made of stone...

Woodhenge on Wikipedia
Woodhenge on English Heritage
Silbury Hill on Wikipedia
Silbury Hill

Not to mention the myriad hill forts that surround where I live, with some originating back a several thousand years.

To the OP. I think it's to do with population size and the advances in agriculture that supported a growing population.


posted on Dec, 29 2014 @ 05:19 AM
I adhere to the theory is that the ancients built with both small and large stones and other types of materials like wood, but that only the megalittic monuments survived the cataclysm that wiped these ancient civilizations out - might have been floods and mini ice-ages etc.

edit on 29-12-2014 by MerkabaMeditation because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 29 2014 @ 05:23 AM
How do we know, or why do we believe that men who lived millenia ago were primitive?

Who said they were 'primitive' and why would they tell you that?

What if they were far more advanced that we are now?

I feel / sense / believe that we are the de-evolved remnants of humanity quietly and secretly being de-evolved furthur and furthur every generation.

To build such amazing monuments that would last for millenia upon millenia is not the hallmark of a primitive civilisation.

The buildings and monuments built in these so called 'advanced' times would crumble in a few centuries if not decades.

So who is 'primitive' then?

posted on Dec, 29 2014 @ 05:31 AM
I also believe that humans having been around for more that 100k years, have not just walked around waiting until recently, and all of a sudden built various pyramids all over the globe. The buildings we have discovered might just be the strongest and biggest that survived across the millennia. Hunters/gatherers will have been living in caves which are stable and safe, and might have understood that when the hunting takes you where there is no cave, you could gather some stones and build yourself one.

posted on Dec, 29 2014 @ 05:42 AM
a reply to: spych78

Our Earth follows cycles or epochs i imagine Humanity also follows similar cycles.

"What has been will be again,
what has been done will be done again;
there is nothing new under the sun." Ecclesiastes 1:9

posted on Dec, 29 2014 @ 06:38 AM

How did any of these stones survive this long. When did they become immune to roots, cracking by ice/heat cycles, and weathering away. Where did they come from that most of the ones in the British Isles are not local to where they are set up.

Could the answer to "why did they start building large stone structures" have to do with who was selling them. And by selling I mean in the ancient sense. Where taxes are not collected in mediums of exchange or goods, but in annual meetings where group labor is performed. "Instead of laboring to build up your earthen mound again, oh child of mine, our clan has brought something that will stand for years!"

Mike Grouchy

Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?
- Mathew 7:9

If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent?
- Luke 11:11
edit on 29-12-2014 by mikegrouchy because: format

posted on Dec, 29 2014 @ 06:47 AM
a reply to: Mads1987

Well, to be fair, they built stuff out of wood too.

But the wood structures didn't survive, except as some unrecognisable, fossilised fragment.

Woodhenge, anyone?

posted on Dec, 29 2014 @ 07:43 AM
Because — at long last, after 100,000 years of wanting to — they could.

posted on Dec, 29 2014 @ 08:26 AM
If you look at the way homes and walls were built in Scotland, you'll see that the first "dry walls" were constructed from loose pieces of stone. Then as the availability of skilled stonemasons increased, the stones became more regular in shape, requiring less cement. Eventually, they get to the point where the stone blocks are so precisely made, that little or no cement is required.

With the Egyptians, pyramid construction was a public works project that gave the population something to do. Once a civilisation has discovered stone walls, clay and pottery as well as paper and writing, it isn't too much to expect that they might wonder whether it is possible to write on stone as well.

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