reply to post by UmbraSumus
This is a LONG post folks, so if you are in a lazy mood and don't want to read a long post, i'd skip this if i were you. It does contain a reasonable
hypothesis on how the Trilithon and other ancient megalithic structures may have been built though, so if you're interested in that read on...
Hi UmbraSumus and all,
How are you.
TBH, i'm thinking of revising my post a little..i have to admit that i responded a little hastily before actually checking the consensus on the dating
and other details of the site before i posted. (i had my 'blood up' you see) Sometimes, my passion can cloud my objectivity.
Upon further research, i too have found wildly conflicting claims about the specifics of ancient Baalbek.
I found it difficult to actually pin down a definitive timeline for the construction of the 'trilithon' and there foundation stones.
I may revise the date i posted down to 7000-8500 years old, as there is anecdotal evidence of this being a possible date of construction, plus it ties
in with the established Neolithic-2/3 (Neo - New / Lithic - Stone. 'New stone age') periods known to be in evidence in Lebanon, Syria and the region
around that time (6,500BC)
The local people and people of the general region, tell in their oral traditions that the trilithon and the enclosure, had been there a long, long
time before the worship of the sky/sun deity Baal, (to the point of the 'creation' of Adam and Eve) and certainly long before Augustus initiated the
building of what would become the largest and greatest Roman temple complex ever seen in their entire history, which is strange considering it was so
far from Rome, the heart of the empire.
This was (reportedly) started around 27BC, built upon the pre-existing Grand Plaza walled enclosure, which included the largest stones on Earth ever
quarried, shaped, moved and laid by human beings -- to this day.
I liken the construction of the Roman Temple complex, and in particular the temple of Jupiter (sky/sun god) as being akin to the Spaniards who upon
traveling to 'the new world', proceeded to construct their monuments and cathedrals upon the pre-existing foundations of buildings and complexes that
had already been there for many centuries or millenia before they arrived.
As you say UmbraSumas, the weathering and general decay of the walled enclosure in comparison to the much later Roman build, lends credence to much
earlier build date. Taken with evidence of folklore and established and dated finds from the area, proves the Romans did not build the whole complex,
but were making use of what was already existing to build upon.
Also, when we look at other examples of Roman construction technology, in the temple complex itself, and in the wider Roman empire, the apparent limit
to their stone moving/lifting was at around 350-400 tonnes.
As an indication of the difficulty the Romans had in moving very large stones, there are reports of an Ancient Egyptian Obelisk weighing approx 350
tonnes being transported from Egypt to Rome, and the time taken was enough to span three Roman Emperors reigns! (So, quite a number of years)
As for the distance the stones were moved; Again i have found wildly conflicting reports. Anywhere from a quarter of a mile, a half of a mile, one
full mile and so on. I took the figure of five miles at face value from the post preceding mine, so that may well be incorrect. In any case, the
transportation of 800-1000 tonnes megalithic stones, even over a quarter of a mile would be an almost unbelievable feat, never mind a full mile or
I have a personal hypothesis (no proof, only loosely circumstantial) how these megaliths might have been moved..this method may also apply to many
megalithic blocks in diverse sites around the world too.
First a 'road' or causeway, would be constructed from 'smaller' blocks (still large by any standards), set into the ground surface along the route
from the quarry site to the construction site.
Upon the uppermost face of the blocks in the road, a fairly shallow, linear 'V' or 'U' groove (twice as wide as it is deep) would be cut/etched and
when the blocks are lain end to end, this groove would match up and form a continuous line along the route of the 'road', resembling an inverted
The more massive blocks to be transported would also have a similar groove etched into and down the linear center of a single surface, although not
extending quite as far as the top and bottom edges .
All that is now required to move these massive blocks with (relative) ease, would be a fulcrum. A rolling
fulcrum would be a relatively small
stone sphere, made from a harder, more dense material than that of the blocks of the road and those being transported.
The sphere is placed onto the road block groove, and the megalith is positioned atop of this sphere, with it's own matching groove now on it's
underside. The block can now be moved along any axis, with great ease. As it progresses along the groove in the road, another sphere can be added to
the leading edge, to become the new pivot point.
Since the site of Baalbek is set upon a hill, approximately 1100 meters high, a continuation of this grooved causeway/road arrangement could have
extended from the quarry site, through the construction site, and up and over
the crest of the hill, with a counterweight system of
skids/sledges. These skids would be attached securely to the 'load' megalith, and loaded with easily movable/removable smaller blocks, the combined
weight of which would be slightly heavier that the block to be transported.
This of course, would offset the weight of the block being transported.
Allowing a series of skids/sledges loaded with small blocks, to move down the opposite side of the hill (construction site) from the direction of the
quarry, gravity would essentially be pulling the megaliths from the quarry site, and up the hill.
When at the bottom of the slope, the small blocks and skids, would simply be unloaded and individually repositioned atop the slope, for another
downward run. This would be repeated as many times as was required, until the megalithic blocks were at the construction site.
This essentially means the builders would only have to support the blocks along the lateral axis and the weight would only be the difference between
the weight of the series of loaded skids, and the block itself!
This is all hypothesis of course, but may go some way to explaining the mystery stone sphere's found in Costa Rica, and elsewhere in the Americas.
They may be the discarded or unused fulcrum/pivots used in the construction of megalithic structures throughout the ancient world.
In Baalbek and other ancient megalithic sites that may have utilized a system along the principles of my hypothesis, the lack of physical evidence for
this system of grooves and spheres may be explained by the builders refinishing the faces of the blocks that had the etched grooves, including the
causeway/road blocks and sphere pivots and incorporating them in the building itself, or reshaping them into something else later.
Presumably, the spheres from S. America, if the monument builders used them in a similar system, discarded them rather than reworking and/or
incorporating them into the finished structure or complex.
There's no reason why this would not have worked. It would certainly have been within the capabilities of the builders, and would have negated the
need for thousands of workers, and the need for very large, complex and heavy crane arrangements. Gravity would have been the prime mover.
edit on 12/9/2010 by spikey because: Edit to add that this is a Loooong post.