Baalbek, Lebanon, is the site of one of the most mysterious ruins of the Roman Empire, a monumental two-thousand-year-old temple to Jupiter that sits atop three thousand-ton stone blocks. (The pillars of Stonehenge weigh about a fortieth of that.) The blocks originated in a nearby limestone quarry, where a team from the German Archaeological Institute, in partnership with Jeanine Abdul Massih, of Lebanese University, recently discovered what they are calling the largest stone block from antiquity, weighing one thousand six hundred and fifty tons and matching those that support the temple. Its provenance is more shadowy than one might expect of a three-million-pound megalith. Nobody seems to know on whose orders it was cut, or why, or how it came to be abandoned. (By Elif Batuman)
Andrew Collins, investigates one of the world’s greatest enigmas – the Great Platform at Baalbek in Lebanon and uncovers its links with giants, Titans and a previously unknown culture.
In the recent past the tranquility of the Beqa’a Valley, that runs north-south between the Lebanon and Ante-Lebanon mountain ranges, has been regularly shattered by the screeching noise of Israeli jet fighters. Their targets are usually the Hizbullah training camps, mostly for reconnaissance purposes, but occasionally to drop bombs on the local inhabitants. It is a sign of the times in the troubled Middle East.
Yet the Beqa’a Valley is also famous for quite another reason. Elevated above the lazy town of Baalbek is one of architecture’s greatest achievements. I refer to the almighty Temple of Jupiter, situated besides two smaller temples, one dedicated to Venus, the goddess of love, and the other dedicated to Bacchus, the god of fertility and good cheer (although some argue this temple was dedicated to Mercury, the winged god of communication).
Today these wonders of the classical world remain as impressive ruins scattered across a wide area, but more remarkable still is the gigantic stone podiums within which these structures stand. An outer podium wall, popularly known as the ‘Great Platform’, is seen by scholars as contemporary to the Roman temples. Yet incorporated into one of its courses are the three largest building blocks ever used in a man-made structure. Each one weighs an estimated 1000 tonnes a piece.(1) They sit side-by-side on the fifth level of a truly cyclopean wall located beyond the western limits of the Temple of Jupiter.
This article introduces and discusses new discoveries made in the colossal ruins at Baalbek, Lebanon, and the possibility they are evidence of a past supercivilization or, at least, technically advanced civilization of “prehistory.” —Gian J. Quasar
Baalbek is the name of an archeological site in Lebanon. In Roman times it was known as Heliopolis or City of the Sun. An example of how ancient is the site can be found in that its holiest area (in pagan times) was the Temple of Baal-Jupiter—a hybrid between the ancient Canaanite god Baal (lord) and the Roman Jupiter.
Moreover, this temple was built on a “tel” or ruin mound, indicating a place that had long been held sacred, though what had caused this area to be significant or “sacred” is unknown.
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Approximately 86 kilometers northeast of the city of Beirut in eastern Lebanon stands the temple complex of Baalbek. Situated atop a high point in the fertile Bekaa valley, the ruins are one of the most extraordinary and enigmatic holy places of ancient times. Long before the Romans conquered the site and built their enormous temple of Jupiter, long even before the Phoenicians constructed a temple to the god Baal, there stood at Baalbek the largest stone block construction found in the entire world.
The temple at Ba’albek is famous for its extraordinarily large foundation stones (The largest in the world). These stones also qualify as the largest cut-stones in the history of mankind.
Location: Beqaa Valley, Lebanon.
There is no contemporary testimony for the construction, which dates back at least to Phoenician times.
Table of Contents:
The temple and foundations of Baalbek offer an impressive feat of engineering—the Baalbek foundation stones are the largest quarried and placed stone blocks on the face of the Earth. The articles below suggest the foundation stones are far older than previously thought, predating the later Roman additions who were building on an already existing structure. The colossal stones (each weighing 800 tonnes) are situated in a wall of the great acropolis of Baalbek in Lebanon and it is said that: “They are so accurately placed in position and so carefully joined, that it is almost impossible to insert a needle between them.” (Michel Alouf, former curator of the ruins.)
- Baalbek – A Colossal Enigma
- Baalbek – A History
- Baalbek – ‘Heliopolis’, ‘City of the Sun’
- Baalbek – Lebanon’s Sacred Fortress
- The Myth of the Megalith
- War Comes to the “Landing Place”
Zecharia Sitchin writes: “I and those who have been with me to the place several years ago can attest that the ‘Roman ruins’ are indeed imposing remains of three magnificent temples, including the largest temple to Jupiter anywhere in the Roman empire, Rome itself included. But the Romans came there because the place had been revered earlier by the Greeks. Pompey, Rome’s conquering general, offered there sacrifices in 60 B.C. imitating Alexander the Great who paid there homage to Zeus centuries earlier. The Greeks came because the place was deemed a unique sacred site by the Phoenicians and the Babylonians before them; and before all those generals and emperors and kings, Gilgamesh, king of Uruk in ancient Sumer, went there circa 2900 B.C. to obtain immortality from the gods.” The sanctity of the site indeed stretches back to the neolithic, before civilizations of man arose.
The Colossal Stone Blocks: The most important section of this ancient site is where the remains of the Jupiter temple are located. Its ruins stand atop a platform that rose even higher by rows of perfectly shaped stone blocks weighing some 600 tons each; (By comparison, the stone blocks of the Great Pyramid in Giza, Egypt, weigh about 25 tons each). These are far from being the largest stone blocks there; the ever-rising layers of these stone blocks form, in the northwestern corner, a funnel-like stone tower. The western wall of that towerlike structure has been reinforced with rows (“courses”) of stone blocks weighing 900 tons each. On top of them, another higher course is made up of three unique stone blocks weighing 1,100 tons each. Known as the Trilithon, these are the largest cut and shaped construction stone blocks in the world!
The name of an ancient site – Ba’albek in Lebanon – has now been mentioned in dispatches by war correspondents covering the latest flareup in the Middle East. Israeli planes have been dropping bombs there on training and supply encampments of Hezbollah terrorists, in a tit-for-tat for the latter’s missile attacks on Israel. Some of the dispatches refer to the town’s “Roman ruins” – remains of temples that Roman emperors erected in honor of Rome’s gods; but little, if any, mention is made of the place’s earlier and much more significant archaeological remains.
I and those who have been with me to the place several years ago can attest that the “Roman ruins” are indeed imposing remains of three magnificent temples, including the largest temple to Jupiter anywhere in the Roman empire, Rome itself included – as an artist’s reconstruction shows (Fig. 1). But the Romans came there because the place had been revered earlier by the Greeks. Pompey, Rome’s conquering general, offered there sacrifices in 60 B.C. imitating Alexander the Great who paid there homage to Zeus centuries earlier. The Greeks came because the place was deemed a unique sacred site by the Phoenicians and the Babylonians before them; and before all those generals and emperors and kings, Gilgamesh, king of Uruk in ancient Sumer, went there circa 2900 B.C. to obtain immortality from the gods.