Weird Weekend – Ancient Megalithic Cultures

Sure, you know about the Egyptian pyramids.


And you know about Stonehenge.

We marvel at these giant structures and wonder at the mystery of their construction.  There is controversy regarding when they were built.  Have you ever been to an ancient site?  I’ve been to Stonehenge, and even amidst the touristy trappings you can still feel the mystery and energy of the place.  It’s been called a calendar, an observatory and even a pen for sheep.

We wonder who built these places, and how?  How were such giant blocks moved by people whose only power source was their own muscle?  In the case of the pyramids, the blocks are so finely shaped and fitted that for the most part you still cannot fit a knife between.  Are these sites anomalies?  Did the local population just get really lucky and sort of figure it out and throw it together?

Most people have heard of the pyramids and Stonehenge, but have you heard of Puma Punku in Bolivia?  It is part of the Tiwanaku complex, for which there is limited data.  Dating for this site places it anywhere from 3,000 to 10,000 to 36,000 years old.

Do those precise corners and perfect circles look like they were cut by hand with stone tools?  Local legends about Puma Punku say it is the place where the world was created.

Or how about Malta?  The temples on these little islands in the Mediterranean are dated by mainstream archeologists to 5,000 years ago and are considered the oldest free-standing megalithic sites on the planet.

What do these sites, located around the globe, have in common?  They’re all built with really big rocks.  Big rocks that have been shaped and fitted with a precision that is difficult to achieve today.  These blocks are so huge that modern cranes would have difficulty picking them up.

The other commonality is their amazingly accurate orientation, to the cardinal points as well as aligning with astronomical events.  Solstice markers are generally found at the temple sites.  Monitoring the skies is a long and painstaking endeavor.  To be able to monitor celestial events, and then translate that knowledge into gigantic stone buildings is not a feat of a hunter/gather level of development.  It requires precision in observation as well as construction.  It requires an advanced knowledge base and level of development.

But the question of when these places were built remains controversial.  Increasing evidence though is surfacing to show that they are much, much older than is commonly thought.   Accepted theories on the progress of civilization have us in a fairly steady upward march, placing us at the pinnacle of everything that has ever been known.  To suggest an advanced technological civilization in ancient history was dismissed as fantasy.  Yet the anomalies of these mysterious sites continue to confound us.

It is horribly difficult to date these sites.  Radiocarbon dating does not work unless you have something organic.  Other radiometric dating done on the stones themselves would only tell us when the rock was formed, not when it was dressed or placed.  So to date the temples we have to look at what surrounds the rocks, or what is under them, which would tell you when the stone was laid down.  So far as I know, no one has tried to move one of these megaliths to get to what’s directly under.

But how do you know if the organic material you’re sampling is really the oldest?  This question is not always satisfactorily answered, and yet it is still the main source of dating of these ancient megalithic structures.  So mainstream theory remained that humans didn’t start to organize into cities until about 6,500 years ago, in Sumer.

Enter Gobekli Tepi, and the modern archeological world is stunned.  Gobekli Tepe is located in Anatolia, Turkey, and it is dated to 9,000 to 12,000 years ago.  That date was reached by radiocarbon dating, so why is it more acceptable than others?  Because Gobekli Tepi was not discovered until 1964, up until then it was thought to be just a hill, until a survey showed otherwise.  So any organic material left at the bottom of the structures uncovered so far had to have been buried when Gobekli Tepe was.  I find it humorous that the Wikipedia article says it was built by hunter/gathers.


Other megalithic sites around the world.

Easter Island
Baalbeck, Lebanon. Estimated to weigh 1,200 tons. Just for comparison, average weight of the blocks making up the pyramids, 50 tons.
Lore Lindu National Park, Sulawesi

Somewhere along the way, we lost part of our history.  A big part.  These ancient sites that circle the globe offer us only an enigmatic snapshot of the ancient world, a distant past more than 10,000 years ago.  In light of the evidence uncovered at Gobekli Tepe, it is time to revise our historical timeline.  Some time in the past, a civilization existed that was capable of picking up and moving huge stone blocks with ease.  A civilization that was global in scope, or multiple civilizations with similar skill sets.

What’s missing?  The development of this civilization.  Currently there is no archeological data that demonstrates the rise of these cities, or the skills to build on such a grand scale.  It is as if these sites appeared suddenly on the earth, and this only adds to their mystery.  Recently, an underground chamber was discovered at Puma Punku using ground penetrating radar.  Could we be close to getting some of the questions surrounding this site answered?

Have you been to one of these mysterious places?  What was your experience?

I really love to hear from you!  Please share your thoughts.