Around the world, the ancient monuments have amazed the archeologists due to their massive size and complex artwork. There are only theories about who might have built the legendary Giza pyramids, South Asian temples, Stonehenge Mesoamerican stone structures, Easter Island, etc. Adding to the list, there is still no explanation behind the ruins of the ancient Baalbek Temple, which consists of over 800 tonnes of stone blocks. Moving such weight is still a challenge for modern science, but it seems like whoever built the temple had technology superior to what we have today.
Founded by the Phoenicians, Baalbek was named after the ancient pagan deity, “Baal.” After the conquest by the Romans, the city was renamed to Heliopolis. Baalbek is now located in modern-day Lebanon, north of Beirut, in the Beqaa Valley. It is generally accepted that the stone ruins of Baalbek date back to the Canaanite period, and it was probably a site for the veneration of the Canaanite Supreme God Baal as its name would suggest.
The largest stone at Baalbek was uncovered in 2014. Image credit: Wikimedia Commons
It is possible to trace Baalbek’s history to about 8000 BC and into the Phoenician period, it is also possible that the Baalbek is older than this. Installed without any binder, monolithic stone blocks weighing from three hundred to a thousand tonnes are in such good contact with each other that even a needle cannot be inserted between them. Many of the temple columns give the impression of being machined on a lathe, which simply could not have been used in the first century AD!
The Baalbek Stones are six massive stone blocks characterized by megalithic gigantism unparalleled in antiquity.
The smallest three blocks are part of a podium wall in the Roman complex of the Temple of Jupiter Baal (Heliopolitan Zeus) on Tel Baalbek and are known as the “Trilithon.” Each of these is estimated at about 750–800 tonnes (830–880 short tons).
The remaining three are Roman monoliths, not part of a larger structure, conventionally known as the “Stone of the Pregnant Woman” (estimated at 1,000 t), the “Stone of the South” (est. 1,242 t), and the “Forgotten Stone” (est. 1,650 t). These are, in reverse order, the first, third, and tied fifth-largest known stones ever quarried in human history. They are believed to have been intended for the nearby Jupiter Baal complex, possibly as an addition to the Trilithon; but, perhaps due to their size, they were never removed from their quarry. They have not been used since their extraction in ancient times.
If we consider the technology that would have been required to lift the large stone blocks used to build the earliest part of Baalbek, we are faced with a conundrum because the technology required to lift the massive stones used at Baalbek supposedly did not exist.
Scientists are clueless when exactly the main construction was carried out on its territory. According to one version, the Baalbek terraces and the foundations on which Roman temples were subsequently erected seven thousand years ago; on the other – everything was built by the Romans themselves in the ancient period.
Subsequent periods of Greek, Roman, and Islamic occupation of Baalbek occurred until the area fell within the control of the Ottoman Empire during the 16th Century, whereafter it became part of the modern Lebanese Republic.
The Canaanites, Greeks, and Romans made extensive use of the site with the Greeks and Romans building their own Stone Temples in honor of the Gods Zeus and Jupiter.
In renaming the Site Heliopolis, the Greeks recognized it as one of the main centers of worship. In addition to the construction carried out by the Greeks and Romans, signs of which are still evident from the site as part of the Ancient Baalbek Ruins, the earlier Baalbek Temple platform which served as the foundation on which the later Temples were constructed has not been adequately explained.
This older part of Baalbek was constructed using giant stones weighing at least 800 tonnes each. In addition, abandoned massive stones have also been discovered near the Baalbek site. How these huge stone blocks were cut and moved to the main Baalbek Temple site with the technology available at the time is also not fully accounted for. As a result, alternative explanations have been proposed for the origins of Baalbek.
Sitchin-Hancock Explain Origin of Baalbek Ruins
Sitchin and Hancock propose that the Stones at Baalbek suggest that Baalbek is much older than is generally accepted.
According to British author Graham Hancock, the key to the Baalbek puzzle lies in appreciating that the construction engineering challenges posed by the stones used to construct Baalbek suggest that it could not have been accomplished by the Canaanites, Romans, and/or Greeks. An earlier and more advanced Lost Civilization with the necessary technology to move the Baalbek stones was therefore probably responsible for Baalbek although Hancock does not go as far as identifying it.
Image credit: Graham Hancock
Image credit: Graham Hancock
“There’s no doubt that the Romans could move very large blocks of stone, and there’s no doubt that they were responsible for the classical majesty of the temple itself, but I’m presently working on the assumption that they built it on top of a megalithic platform that had already been in place for thousands of years. The western side of that original (and I believe remotely ancient) megalithic platform is shown in the collage of photographs with this post. On top of six megaliths, in the range of 400 tons each, are prominently positioned three gigantic megaliths weighing approximately 800 tons each. I am aware that megaliths even larger than this (e.g. the so-called Thunder Stone of St Petersburg) have been moved and positioned on flat ground in historical times) but the moving and positioning of three 800-ton megaliths to a height of 18 or 20 feet above the ground as is the case at Baalbek is a problem of a completely different order. I suggest this requires careful consideration rather than simply saying “the Romans did it” as archaeology is at present inclined to do.I have many reasons for this view, to do with the possibility of a lost civilization that I will be exploring in-depth in “Magicians of the Gods”, the sequel to “Fingerprints of the Gods” (to be published in October 2015). However, to consider just a single point here we need only turn to the quarry at Baalbek where a number of even larger megaliths (but clearly of the same type as the 800-ton blocks under the Temple of Jupiter), were left in situ by whoever conceived it possible to build with megaliths on this scale. If it was the Romans who quarried and moved everything than we have to ask ourselves why three huge blocks in the range of 1,000 to 1,650 tons were left in the quarry at all.”
Sitchin on the other hand points to the ancient Sumerian record, in particular, the Epic Of Gilgamesh in which Gilgamesh King of Uruk embarked on a quest for immortality that took him to Baalbek so he could board Rocket to the Planet Nibiru, home of the Anunnaki Gods so he could also obtain the eternal life of the Gods.
According to Sitchin, Gilgamesh witnessed rockets being launched from Baalbek in The Epic of Gilgamesh, and for this reason, Sitchin argues that Baalbek was actually an Anunnaki Alien Spaceport. This would explain the use of the massive platform stones and also resolve the question of the source of the technology required to move the giant stones used to build Baalbek.
Obviously, Sitchin’s books and his claims are absurd for mainstream historians. American author and scholar Michael Heiser said: “If you’re going to make these ascertains I would want to see the passage in Gilgamesh that names Baalbek specifically. I’m naturally skeptical that there is a passage, but if you’re going to make this claim you have to be able to establish with certainty, not even just a general region, that these are the stones that are being referred to in any given text.”
“I have personally found the writings of Sitchin very frustrating from the perspective of a scholar and an academic – which is what I am. It’s very hard to follow his trail because he doesn’t cite sources. Even if he cites a source, for instance, an ancient text, he doesn’t give you the chapter and verse, he doesn’t give you the tablet and line numbers. I have to look at it and say it’s either really lazy or he doesn’t want you to check upon him. It’s one or the other.” he added.
There is good evidence to suggest that the Roman and Greek Temples at Baalbek were built using the remnants of an earlier more ancient temple as a foundation. However, how this earlier more sophisticated and technologically challenging foundation made of giant stone blocks was itself built, who built it and why, remains an unresolved question open for debate.
As far as there is no strong evidence of what is behind the construction of the Baalbek temple, Hancock and Sitchin’s theories also cannon the denied, at least for now.