Chapter 9: The Landing Place

…The greatest Roman temple ruins lie not in Rome, but in the mountains of Lebanon.

…Emperors and generals came to it in search of oracles, to find out their fate. Roman legionnaires sought to be billeted near it; the devout and the curious went to see it with their own eyes: it was one of the wonders of the ancient world.

…The site is in the mountains of Lebanon… the enclosed squarish area, with some sides almost 2,500 feet long, measured over five million square feet.

…The temple proper was only the westernmost (and oldest) part of a four-part shrine to Jupiter, which the Romans are believed to have started to build soon after they occupied the place in 63 B.C.

…From its monumental gateway staircase to its final western wall, the shrine extended for more than 1,000 feet in length. It completely dwarfed a very large temple to its south, which was dedicated to a male deity, some think Bacchus but probably Mercury, and a small round temple to the southeast, where Venus was venerated.

…The Romans considered the site and its great temple as the ultimate attestations of the almightiness and supremacy of Jupiter. Calling him Jove (echo of the Hebrew Yehovah?), they inscribed upon the temple and its main statue the divine initials I.O.M.H. the legend standing for Jove Optimus Maximus Heliopolitanus: the Optimal and Maximal Jupiter the Heliopolitan.

…The latter title of Jupiter stemmed for the fact that though the great temple was dedicated to the Supreme God, the place itself was considered to have been a resting place of Helios, the Sun god who could traverse the skies in his swift chariot. The belief was transmitted to the Romans by the Greeks, from whom they also adopted the name of the place Heliopolis. How the Greeks had come to so name the place, no one knows for sure; some suggest that it was so named by Alexander the Great.

…In fact, the place and its association with certain gods go back to even earlier times. Archaeologists believe that there may have been as many as six temples built on the site before Roman times, and it is certain that whatever shrines the Greeks may have erected there, they – as the Romans after them – were only raising the structures atop earlier foundations, religiously and literally.

…The hold the place had over the beliefs and imaginations of people throughout the millennia also manifested itself in the history of the place following its Roman veneration… circa A.D. 400, Rome was already Christian and the site was already a target of zealous destruction. No sooner did Constantine the Great (A.D. 306-337) convert to Christianity, than he stopped all additional work there and instead began the conversion of the place into a Christian shrine. In the year 440, according to one chronicler, Theodosius destroyed the temples of the Greeks, he transformed into a Christian Church the temple of Heliopolis, that of Ba’al Helios, the great Sun-Ba’al of the celebrated Trilithon.

…When the Muslims gained the area in the year 637, they converted the Roman temples and Christian churches atop the huge platform into a Muhammedan enclave. Where Zeus and Jupiter had been worshipped, a mosque was built to worship Allah.

…Modern scholars have tried to shed more light on the age-long worship at this place… and have concluded that a basic triad had been worshipped throughout the ages.

…The earliest Triad was headed, it appears, by Adad, who was allotted by his father Enlil – the chief god of Sumer – "the mountainlands of the north." The female member of the Triad was Ishtar. After he visited the area, Alexander the Great struck a coin honoring Ishtar/Astarte and Adad.

…The third member of the Triad was the Celestial Charioteer, Shamash – commander of the prehistoric astronauts. The Greeks honored him as Helios.

…Examining the Roman and Greek traditions and beliefs, we have arrived back at Sumer; we have circled back to Gilgamesh and his Search for Immortality in the Cedar Forest, at the "crossroads of Ishtar." Though in the territory of Adad, he was told, the place was also in the jurisdiction of Shamash. And so we have the original Triad: Adad, Ishtar, Shamash.

…Have we come upon the Landing Place?

Henry Seyrig, who as director of Antiquities of Syria devoted a lifetime to the studies of the vast platform and its meaning, found that the Greeks used to conduct their "rites of Mystery, in which Afterlife was represented as human Immortality – an identification with the deity obtained by the ascent (heavenward) of the soul."

…The Greeks, he concluded, indeed associated this place with Man’s efforts to attain Immortality.

…Was then this place the very place in the Cedar Mountains, to which Gilgamesh had first gone with Enkidu, the Crest of Zaphon of Ba’al?

Mr. Sitchin explains in detail the colossal platform, built of stones heavier than 500 tons. The largest ones in the Great Pyramid of Egypt weigh 200 tons.

…The stones for the Platform and Podium were quarried locally. Wood and Dawkings include one of these quarries in their panoramic sketch, showing some of the larger of the stone blocks strewn around in the ancient quarry. But the gigantic blocks were hewn, cut and shaped at another quarry, situated in the valley some three-quarters of a mile southwest of the sacred precinct. It is there that one comes upon a sight even more incredible than that of the Trilithon. Partly buried in the ground, there lies yet another one of the colossal granite slabs – left in situ by whoever the great quarrier was… fully shaped and perfectly cut… A person climbing upon it looks like a fly upon a block of ice… It weighs, by conservative estimates, more than 1,200 tons.

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Baalbek

…Wherever the leftover colossal stone was intended to be placed, it serves as a mute witness to the immensity and uniqueness of the Platform and Podium nesting in the Mountains of Lebanon. The mind-boggling fact is that even nowadays there exists no crane, vehicle or mechanism that can lift such a weight of 1,000-1,200 tons – to say nothing of carrying such an immense object over valley and mountainside, and placing each slab in its precise position, many feet above the ground. There are no traces of any roadway, causeway, ramp or other earthworks that could even remotely suggest the hauling or dragging of these megaliths from the quarry to their uphill site.

…Yet in remote days, someone, somehow had achieved the feat…

…But who? Local tradition hold that the place had existed from the days of Adam and his sons, who resided in the area of the Cedar Mountains after the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden. Adam, these legends relate, inhabited the place which is now Damascus, and died not far from there.

After mentioning several other legends Mr. Sitchin adds:

…All these local legends, which as all legends contain a kernel of age-old recollections of actual events, agree that the place is of extreme antiquity. They ascribe its building to "giants" and connect its construction with the events of the Deluge. They connect it with Ba’al, its function being that of a "Tower of Babel" – a place from which to "scale the heavens."

…The words and description of the Hidden Place in the Epic of Gilgamesh also keep echoing in our ears. The insurmountable wall, the gate which stuns whoever touches it, the tunnel to the "enclosure from where words of command are issued," the "secret abode of the Anunnaki," the monstrous Guardian with his "radiant beam."

…And there is no doubt left in our mind that in Baalbek we have found Ba’al’s Crest of Zaphon, the target of the first journey of Gilgamesh.

ROMAN RUINS IN BAALBEK, LEBANON

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Roman ruins in Lebanon.


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Temple to Jupiter.


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Temple of Bacchus, Roman ruins in Lebanon.


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Coffered Ceiling of the Temple of Bacchus.


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Temple to Mercury.


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Circular Temple to Venus.

CONSTANTINE THE GREAT

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Fragments of a colossal statue of Constantine the Great.


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Mosaic of Mary and Child with Emperors Justinian and Constantine the Great.

DAMASCUS, WHERE LEGEND SAYS ADAM WENT AFTER HIS EXPULSION FROM EDEN.

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Damascus Wall. A bricked-up gate in the old City Wall of Damascus.


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Overview of Damascus, Syria, in 1965.

…Were there indeed such other places on Earth that could serve as Landing Places for the aircraft of the gods? Were there, besides upon the Crest of Zaphon, other "stones that whisper"?

…Explaining the Egyptian pantheon of twelve gods to his countrymen, the Greek historian Herodotus also wrote of an "Immortal whom the Egyptians venerated as ‘Hercules’." He traced the origins of the worship of this Immortal to Phoenicia, "hearing that there was a temple of Hercules at that place, very highly venerated." In the temple he saw two pillars. "One was of pure gold; the other was of emerald, shining with great brilliancy at night."

…Such sacred "Sun Pillars" – "Stones of the gods" – were actually depicted on Phoenician coins following the area’s conquest by Alexander. Herodotus provides us with the additional information that of the two connected stones, one was made of the metal which is the best conductor of electricity (gold); and the other of a precious stone (emerald) as is now used for laser communications, giving off an eerie radiance as it emits a high powered beam. Was it not like the contraption set up by Ba’al, which the Canaanite text described as "stones of splendor?"

…The construction (or reconstruction) upon the Crest of Zaphon of a launching silo and a landing platform for Ba’al was not the cause of his fatal battle with Mot. Rather, it was his clandestine attempt to set up a "Stone of Splendor." This device could communicate with the heavens as well as with other places on Earth. But, in addition, it was:

A stone that whispers,
Men its messages will not know,
Earth’s multitudes will not comprehend.

…In a most thorough study of the subject, Wilhem H. Roscher (Omphalos) showed that the Indo-European term for these oracle stones – navel in English, nabel in German, etc.- stem from the Sanskrit nabh, which meant "emanate forcefully." It is no coincidence that in the Semitic languages naboh meant to foretell and nabih meant "prophet." All these identical meanings undoubtedly harken back to the Sumerian, in which NA.BA(R) meant "bright-shiny stone that solves."

Delphi, the site of Greece’s most famous oracle was dedicated to Apollo ("He of Stone"), its ruins are still one of Greece’s leading tourist attractions. There too as at Baalbek, the sacred precinct consisted of a platform shaped upon a mountainside, also facing a valley that opens up as a funnel toward the Mediterranean Sea and the lands on its other shore.

…Many records established that an omphalos stone was Delphi’s holiest object. It was set into a special base in the inner sanctum of the temple of Apollo, some say next to a golden statue of the god and some say it was enshrined all by itself. In a subterranean chamber, hidden from view by the oracle seekers, the oracle priestess in trance-like oblivion, answered the questions of kings, and heroes by uttering enigmatic answers – answers given by the god but emanating from the omphalos.

…How was Delphi chosen as an oracle place, and how did the omphalos stone come to be there? The traditions say that when Zeus wanted to find the center of the Earth, he released eagles from two opposite ends of the world. Flying toward each other, they met at Delphi whereupon the place was marked by erecting there a navel stone, an omphalos. According to the Greek historian Strabo, images of two such eagles were perched on top on the omphalos at Delphi.

…No surprisingly, we find the twin Sacred Stones, accompanied by the two eagles, also depicted in Egyptian sacred writings, and many centuries before the Greeks even began to enshrine their oracle centers, an Egyptian Pharaoh depicted an omphalos with the two perched birds in his pyramids. He was Seti I, who lived in the fourteenth century B.C.; and it was in his depiction of the domain of Seker, the Hidden God, that we have the oldest omphalos to date.

…It was the communications means whereby messages – "words" – "were spoken to Seker everyday."

…In Baalbek, we have found the target of the first journey of Gilgamesh. Having followed the threads connecting the "whispering" Stones of Splendor, we arrived at the Duat.

…It was the place where the Pharaohs sought the Stairway to Heaven for an Afterlife. It was we suggest, the place whereto Gilgamesh, in search of Life, set his course on his second journey."

HERODOTUS WROTE ABOUT HERCULES

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Detail of an ancient European Statue of Hercules.


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Roman Temple of Hercules, Amman.


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Temple of Apollo, Greece.


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Temple of Apollo, Greece.


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Temple of Apollo, Greece.

TEMPLES OF ZEUS

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An antique sketch of the Greek god Zeus seated on a throne.


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The Head of a colossal statue of Zeus lies amid the ruins of an Eagle, at Nemrut Dagi.


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Temple of Zeus at Athens, Greece.

And in Egypt; SETI I, the Pharaoh who depicted "omphalo" in his Pyramids.

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Hall way in the Temple of Seti I – Some of the 134 carved columns which stand in the Hypostyle Hall Temple built for Seti I, El Karmak.


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Hypostyle Hall.

Continue to Chapter 10: Tilmun: Land of the Rocketships

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