Researchers stumbled upon the cone-shaped monument, that weighs about 60,000 ton, while executing geophysical research in the southern Sea of Galilee.
Expected is that the structure was built 6000 years ago. According to Prof. Shmulik Marco, who took part in the research, this is an impressive accomplishment since the stones had to be carried more than a mile – and be arranged according to a specific plan.
The researchers are not sure why the structure was built – or what its purpose was. The archaeological site where the structure was found resembles early burial sites in Europe and was likely built in the early Bronze Age.
In order to better understand the origins of the structure, the scientists will organize a more specialized mission in the future. By examining the artefacts at the site, they hope to get more clues about the structure’s purpose and the people who built it. Also, new findings can shed light on the whole region, Prof. Marco believes.
“The base of the structure — which was once on dry land — is lower than any water level that we know of in the ancient Sea of Galilee. But this doesn’t necessarily mean that water levels have been steadily rising,” he says.
The Sea of Galilee is a located in a tectonically active region, which means is it possible the ancient monument has shifted over time. Therefore further research is needed in order to better understand the area’s tectonic movements, the accumulation of sediment, and the changing water levels throughout history.
References: Paz, Y., Moshe, R., Zvi, B., Shmuel, M., Tibor, G., & Nadel, D. (2013). A Submerged Monumental Structure in the Sea of Galilee, Israel International Journal of Nautical Archaeology, 42 (1), 189-193 DOI: 10.1111/1095-9270.12005
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