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Gilgal Refaim, Stonehenge of the Mid-East!!

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posted on Sep, 6 2010 @ 04:48 PM
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G'day ATS,

I came across this amazing place the other day and after a quick search (with few results) I've decided to present it to you.

Gilgal Refaim, also known as Rujm el-Hiri, Rujm al-Hirrī, Rujm Hiri and Rujum al-Hiri is a pretty spectacular megalithic monument that surely deserves a thread on ATS. It dates from around 3,000 BC.



If you look at the lower left of the image, you'll see a person waving at the camera. it's safe to say that the size of this feature alone makes it thread worthy.

The largest of the stone circles is approximately 160 meters in diameter, it's estimated that there are roughly 40,000 metric tonnes of rock making up this monument, just awesome really!!

I've found it extremely hard to find information on this site that isn't just the Wiki page copied and pasted, so unfortunately a lot of my information is sourced form there. However I have managed to find a couple of pages and I'll do my best to bring you what I can, sourced appropriately and credit given where it's due.


WHERE IS IT?




Gilgal Refaim is to be found on the Golan Heights, around 16 km from the coast, in what is Israeli controlled territory.



Interestingly, the surrounding hills around our site are littered with hundreds of dolmens:

Biblewalks.com



In the Golan heights area there are hundreds of dolmens (prehistoric megalith tombs), which were erected at the early middle bronze period (about 30 C BC). The tombs may have been of nomad tribes who buried their dead in central holy places.

Some of the dolmens were reused for secondary burials long after they have been erected.






There are literally hundreds of these in the surrounding area. Amazing!!


POSSIBLE USES OF THE MONUMENT


It isn't known for sure what the original purpose of the monument was.

Although later on in its life (around a thousand years after its construction) a tomb was included within the centre of the basalt rock rings.

Burial Cairn in the Centre of the Site


At the center of the circles is a cairn, an irregular heap of stones. It is 20-25 m. in diameter and preserved to a height of 6 m. The cairn consists of a central mound of stones surrounded by a lower belt, which gives it the appearance of a stepped, truncated cone. A geophysical survey using Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) revealed the pile of stones to be hollow. A built burial chamber, with a narrow corridor leading to it, was discovered there. The chamber is round, roughly 2 m. in diameter, built of large stone plates arranged on top of each other, but slightly slanting inwards. It was covered by two massive slabs of basalt, each weighing over 5.5 tons, which created a semi-corbelled dome over the burial chamber.
ISRAEL MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS

Comparisons have been made between Gilgal Refaim and Stonehenge, the four concentric rings of the Refaim looking similar to those seen in the English site. Interestingly, the Refaim is believed by some archaeologists to have been constructed slightly before Stonehenge.

Because of this comparison, the usual theories of the site being an astronomical observatory or calendar have also been put forward.


The ancients could determine the equinoxes at the Rujm al-Hiri site with the help of two stones, two meters high and five meters wide, that were placed at the eastern end of the area. On the basis of the autumnal equinox and the vernal equinox, the inhabitants could estimate, accordingly, the first rains, after which came the sowing season, and the searing east winds of the summer.





Various astronomical alignments have been identified at the site. the clearest being the solstitial alignment of the northeast entrance, which is reflected in the orientation of the later burial chamber. Curiously though, the southeast entrance is not aligned upon the other soltitial axis: it is too far to the south. On the other hand, two exceptionally large boulders could have referenced sunrise close to the equinox, and it has been suggested that the purpose of this was to indicate that the first spring rains wee imminent, allowing final preparations to be made for water to be efficiently collected for irrigation. Statistical analysis of over thirty radial wall segments suggest that they may have been used as stellar sighting devices
Ancient astronomy: an encyclopaedia of cosmologies and myths p367 By Clive L. N. Ruggles


Astounding that the ancients would choose to create a calender by moving 42,000 basalt rocks!!! It really goes to show how important knowing the time of year was for survival. Of course that's assuming the theory is correct!

It is only from the air that we can truly appreciate Gilgal Refaim:



Move over Stonehenge!!


All the best ATS, Kiwi


WIKI Link



[edit on 6-9-2010 by kiwifoot]

[edit on 7-9-2010 by kiwifoot]




posted on Sep, 6 2010 @ 05:00 PM
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Cool a thread with lots of pictures
That pic with the guy waving was to cool! I had to do a double take after reading it was a person waving
It is amazing that ancient man went through the effort to erect something so big. What always gets me is how many large scale constructions were made in antiquity. I mean ancient man built some very large and very complex structures where ever he{they} was. Seems like there would be a overall purpose to all of them.



posted on Sep, 6 2010 @ 05:53 PM
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Originally posted by hangedman13
Cool a thread with lots of pictures
That pic with the guy waving was to cool! I had to do a double take after reading it was a person waving
It is amazing that ancient man went through the effort to erect something so big. What always gets me is how many large scale constructions were made in antiquity. I mean ancient man built some very large and very complex structures where ever he{they} was. Seems like there would be a overall purpose to all of them.


I agree, that is one of the things that makes these type of topics so interesting to me. There is always more than one theory.

In this case, the observatory or calendar seems to fit. But who really knows??

Thanks for posting, all the best, kiwifoot!



posted on Sep, 6 2010 @ 06:55 PM
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thx for the photos. Really interesting. Its really worth it to inform more about stonehendge as u can really see that this people of the stoneage were smart as #



posted on Sep, 7 2010 @ 04:18 AM
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Originally posted by kauskau
thx for the photos. Really interesting. Its really worth it to inform more about stonehendge as u can really see that this people of the stoneage were smart as #


No worries, glad you like it! I would have liked to give more info but there just isn't much out there. Still, a pretty amazing site!!




posted on Sep, 7 2010 @ 04:25 AM
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As usual, always great Theads from you.
S&F.



posted on Sep, 7 2010 @ 06:41 AM
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Originally posted by Arken
As usual, always great Theads from you.
S&F.


Thanks, it means a lot.

This one was difficult because there isn't much info out there, except on the Wiki page.

All the best, Kiwi



posted on Sep, 7 2010 @ 06:55 AM
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reply to post by kiwifoot
 


Great find.


How could we know so little about such an interesting site?

Do you know if the Israeli authorities have plans for further investigations?



posted on Sep, 7 2010 @ 08:12 AM
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Originally posted by Freeborn
reply to post by kiwifoot
 


Great find.


How could we know so little about such an interesting site?

Do you know if the Israeli authorities have plans for further investigations?


Amazingly, this site only came to light internationally after the six day war in 1967, when the Israeli Army took control of the Golan Heights!! despite it being there for 5,000 years!

Currently the area is actually and IDF training site, although I didn't come across any references to access to the site being overly restricted.

I don't know why it's not that well known, a combination of its location, lack of excavation and Stonehenge taking all the credit i guess.p

I'd love to visit it, I've added it to my list.

All the best, kiwifoot



posted on Sep, 10 2010 @ 03:02 PM
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I thought this place was pretty cool, so I'm gonna give it a shameful "bump", not bothered about flags stars or rubbish like that. It's just that this place had about four mentions on ATS, so it can't be very well known, want to get it out there!!

All the best, ATS!! Kiwi


edit on 10-9-2010 by kiwifoot because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 10 2010 @ 11:48 PM
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once again Kiwifoot boggles our minds !

great post Kiwifoot!! seems like every time I turn around some astonishing new archaeological find is just waiting to blow my mind ! Never knew this place existed but now that I do I'm glad it does!!



posted on Sep, 11 2010 @ 03:47 PM
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Originally posted by MrsBlonde
once again Kiwifoot boggles our minds !

great post Kiwifoot!! seems like every time I turn around some astonishing new archaeological find is just waiting to blow my mind ! Never knew this place existed but now that I do I'm glad it does!!



No worries at all my friend. That's what it's all about!!

If I find something new 9to me) I usually post it!

All the best, kiwi



posted on Sep, 11 2010 @ 08:43 PM
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so upon staring at your post these few days and thinking (like that guy with the mashed potatos in Close Encounters of the Third Kind) this means something and I think it is less like Stonehenge and more like theseLabyrinths



posted on Sep, 12 2010 @ 02:07 PM
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reply to post by MrsBlonde
 


They are quite similar aren't they, and thankyou, you may have given me some ammo for a new thread mate!!

All the best, Kiwifoot



posted on Sep, 13 2010 @ 09:02 PM
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no worries Kiwifoot I'm here to help!

and to make sure it isn't just me......LOL!





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