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calendar   Wednesday - April 24, 2013

Saved By Climate Change

The Stonehenge Of Israel



Divers find huge stone circle under Sea of Gaililee.

A mysterious, circular structure, with a diameter greater than the length of a Boeing 747 jet, has been discovered submerged about 30 feet (9 meters) underneath the Sea of Galilee in Israel.

Scientists first made the discovery by accident in 2003 using sonar to survey the bottom of the lake but published their findings only recently.

“We just bumped into it,” recalls Shmuel Marco, a geophysicist from Tel Aviv University who worked on the project. “Usually the bottom of the lake is quite smooth. We were surprised to find a large mound. Initially we didn’t realize the importance of this but we consulted with a couple of archaeologists, and they said it looked like an unusually large Bronze Age statue.”

The structure is comprised of basalt rocks, arranged in the shape of a cone. It measures 230 feet (70 meters) at the base of the structure, is 32 feet (10 meters) tall, and weighs an estimated 60,000 tons. It is twice the size of the ancient stone circle at Stonehenge in England.

The exact age of the structure has been difficult to pinpoint, but calculations based on the six to ten feet (two to three meters) of sand that have accumulated over the bottom of the base—sand accumulates an average of one to four millimeters per year—as well as comparisons to other structures in the region, put the estimate anywhere between 2,000 and 12,000 years old.

The possible purpose of the structure is even more enigmatic.

What archeologists are certain of is that the monument was likely of great importance to the people who built it. Marco notes that the nearest basalt outcrop was a few hundred meters from the site, and that the stones, which were three to six feet (one to two meters) in width, would have weighed over 200 pounds (90 kilograms) at times.

“We see a society that was capable of organizing the construction of such a large structure. It’s unique to transport these stones and unique to arrange them. You need to plan and to mobilize people, because they’re too heavy to be carried by a single person.”

Neat. No useful pictures in the press yet though. Perhaps this was another observatory like the Rujim al-Hiri, better known as Gilgal Refaim, a mult-ring paleolithic construction in the Golan Heights that is far older than the pyramids.

One of the last great barely known wonders of the ancient world is a Stonehenge-like monument sitting atop Israel’s Golan Heights. Called Gilgal Refaim in Hebrew (The Circle Of The Refaim or “Wheel of the Refaim"). It is one of the most mysterious archaeological sites in the world.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 04/24/2013 at 11:58 AM   
Filed Under: • Archeology / AnthropologyArchitecture •  
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