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The pregnant stone

  1. Nov 24, 2007 #1
    The base stones that make up the foundation of the Roman sun godess temple at baalbek, Lebanon. These stones have been calculated by some to 800-2000 tons a piece. Several sites claim that the romans were uncapable of moving, lifting, and placing these massive blocks with the accuracy of baalbek. The sites claim that when the romans first came to Baalbek there was already a temple there. The original temple belonged to a much more advanced lost civilization. Then the Romans built on top of the temple, while using the already existing massive 800-2000 ton stones as a foundation.

    One of these sites is http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/esp_baalbek_1.htm" [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 3, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 28, 2007 #2
    I know the romans were capable of moving massive stones, but could they have moved these? How could they? anybody?
  4. Nov 28, 2007 #3

    Ivan Seeking

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    This may be relevant:

  5. Dec 6, 2007 #4
    Thanx for bringing this up, i nearly forgot about this, i was going to post this myself. Out of all of the old megaliths the trilithon is the most enigmatic of the lot. There is probably not a single crane in the world that could lift up that stone today, the biggest of them is thought to weigh over 1000 tonnes. Also, they weren't quarried by the Romans, they just moved some of them when they built the temple of jupiter on the old Baalbeck structure. Some historians even think they were made back around the time of the egyptians, or even earlier. That area of the world is where the very first civilizations developed and it has a rich history of very ancient monuments and cultures. good info at; http://www.world-mysteries.com/mpl_5b3.htm (page 3 of 5)

    More recently in the 18th century there was a bigger one moved called the 'thunderstone' , which required a huge amount of man power. They used hundreds of round metal ball bearings on runners to move it.

    Quite an amazing feat! to my knowledge that is the biggest stone moved since the trilithon stones.

    However, i dont think that the trilithon can be fully explained by man power alone. For a start, some of the stones had to be raised over twenty foot and placed into position to a precision of millimetres into the Baalbeck structure. I dont think that they would have managed to do that even in the 18th century, they just rolled it along the ground, and with great difficulty. Also i think it is highly unlikely a block that big could be made up of a concrete mixture, as its huge weight would create massive forces on it when it is being moved, it would likely shatter. Also they did not have any sort of sophisticated metal work before the romans, so using ball bearings to move it like were done with the thunderstone is not possible. Stones would not be sperical enough, and would likely shatter under its immense weight. I dont think anyone is sure of how they were moved and lifted into position.

    Michel Alouf, the former curator of the ruins, once wrote of the Trilithon:

    One of the true mysteries of the ancient world.

    Last edited: Dec 6, 2007
  6. Dec 6, 2007 #5

    Ivan Seeking

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    I think you missed the point of the post. The theory is that the blocks discussed in the link were poured like concrete.
  7. Dec 6, 2007 #6
    surely they could not have been poured already in position? They may have well as made the whole thing out of solid concrete in that case. There would be no reason to make it out of separate parts if it was poured there.

    The quarry where they were mined from is near the site, and one of the blocks is still there. They would have still had to have moved them from the quarry, and lifted them into position.

    also interesting from that site;

    Last edited: Dec 6, 2007
  8. Dec 6, 2007 #7

    Ivan Seeking

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    Not to dispute your other points, but I don't think we can make the assumption that you make here. It would be much easier to construct the rigging needed to pour blocks than to pour something as large as the entire structure. Either way, if these were poured, it seems that specific evidence would be detectable.
  9. Oct 5, 2010 #8
    If I am reading this right, then science is now guessing the way the built the massive structures were with pouring methods similar to the way we pour concrete.

    This is an interesting idea and it sounds plausible to me
  10. Oct 5, 2010 #9
    Unless the ancients were in possession of machinery that we have no proof that they had (Imhotep is impressive, but not *that* impressive), then primitive concrete is the main plausible theory.
  11. Oct 5, 2010 #10


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    My question would be- if the site was built using poured concrete stones, why use separate stones at all? Why didn't they just pour a single monolithic slab?
  12. Oct 5, 2010 #11

    Here is an example, of a 700 ton megalith, which had been moved 420 miles, by the Egyptians.

    My question is, can quartz sandstone be poured like concrete?
  13. Oct 5, 2010 #12
    Perhaps there were limits on how large their cast could be and still produce plane surfaces.
  14. Oct 5, 2010 #13
    I saw a documentary once which said that if the hoover dam had been poured as one and not in the block sections it was made in, it would have taken over 100 years to solidify.

    Not what I saw, but it's got the info:


    Perhaps this would explain using separate blocks as opposed to one complete slab.
  15. Oct 5, 2010 #14


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    But the Hoover Dam looks like a monolithic slab now, even though it was poured in sections. Save for expansion joints, it's one big piece of concrete.
  16. Oct 5, 2010 #15
    This makes no sense.
    There are no "form boards" in-between the tightly fitted blocks, or, to my understanding, any evidence of there having been any(such as burning away).

    I think the "build" was nothing more than using a Huge number of slave laborers, earthen ramps, strong ropes and rolling logs.
    Plus the crack of a whip, of course.
  17. Oct 5, 2010 #16
    Yes, because it was built in such a way that it would end up 'one big structure' but not have the inherent problems of being poured as one big slab.

    For example (all figures made up for illustration):
    A simple bit of logic would tell you that if you know a 0.5m^3 block of concrete takes about 12 hours to set and a 1m^3 block takes 24 hours to set, you could work out how long something the size of a pyramid would take to set (or at least be able to estimate it) with enough accuracy to know it would be far too long.
    You could then work on the basis of producing a series of 1m^3 blocks, allowed to dry for 24 hours each and then put in place, avoiding the extensive setting times.

    It took a very accurate degree of labour to get the Hoover Dam to set correctly. I believe it needed constant concrete being poured. Remember, we also have rebar to add strength to massive sections of concrete and help hold things together. Without it, the dam wouldn't have been possible. The Egyptians didn't (as far as I'm aware).
  18. Oct 5, 2010 #17
    Just to clear things up, the scientists mentioned in the link, only suggest that some of the top stones are cement. Even if they are correct, the vast majority of the pyramid is still made of quarried stones.

    This idea, while interesting, that the egyptians may have been more advanced in using concrete, doesn't solve the mystery of how they moved enormous megaliths.

    Another mystery, is the technique that the egyptians used to carve diorite statues.
  19. Oct 5, 2010 #18
    I was just giving a possible reason for not creating one big slab. Could be miles out for all I know (probably am).

    The Sphinx has always amazed me. One thing I would really like to see if I got the chance.
  20. Oct 7, 2010 #19
    This would be my first thought on why they would use blocks. I like to bake and have found that cakes cook faster when made it parts. You need special parts to make larger pieces. In fact, very large cake rounds are really halves.

    Besides the drying issue. A contraption to make smaller blocks would have more uses than a very large contraption that makes one big block.
  21. Oct 8, 2010 #20


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    How do these stones compare to the ones at Stonehenge or the Moai? It was long believed that the stones used to construct Stonehenge were too large to be moved by the "rolling log" method until someone actually tried it.

    I suspect we are underestimating the power of unlimited expendable human labor here.

    Sandstone is a sedimentary rock (even if it has lots of quartz in it) which means it can be poured like concrete. Concrete is just a cleverly devised sedimentary stone mixture.

    However, I don't think they needed to pour it to accomplish this.
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