Advancements over the last 100 years have led to the growth and development of mankind in terms of scientific and technological ...
Advancements over the last 100 years have led to the growth and development of mankind in terms of scientific and technological discoveries. However, we still recognize the incredible achievements of the past. Many amazing and impossible stone structures and artifacts have erased their explanations over the rapidly evolving civilizations. But their glory remains the same. Unbelievable and mysterious, these ancient stone structures lay incredible sights to the history and evolution of mankind.
Here is a rundown of top 10 ancient stone structures for history geeks.
Tiwanaku is an important archeological site in Western Bolivia, South America. The site has its existence since the Pre-Columbian period. The engineering of this site is so monumental that it has left behind the Aztecs. The stone blocks weigh up to 65 tons. No chisel marks could be found on them. Their means of shape remains a mystery. The structure holds an unusual technique in its building. Stone blocks were notched and fitted together to interlock in different dimensions. Tiahuanaco (in Spanish) is located 13,000 feet above the sea level.
Pumapunku is also known as Puma Punku or Puma Puncu. It is a part of a monument group inside Tiwanaku. It has many finely cut stones. The process of creation of these temples is not fully understood by modern scholars. The site truly startles the imagination. Most blocks lay about 100-150 ton, one of them is also weighed an estimate of 440 tons.
A collection of more than 3,000 standing stones in the village of Carnac is largest such collection in the world. They were erected between 4500 and 3300 BC. These stones were erected by the Celtic people of Brittany. There are three major groups of stone rows namely Menec, Kermario and Kerlescan. They once formed a single group but now can be seen split up for their removal for utilization in other purposes.
Different theories exist for the purpose of these stones. The stones are aligned astronomically according to one belief so as to create a calendar system. Another belief suggests that they were used as seismic instruments. Balanced stones act as earthquake detectors. Carnac site of ancient stones is also believed to support the megalithic yard, a theoretical unit measurement used for building megalithic sites.
Stone spheres on the Diquis Delta in Costa Rica is one of the strangest mysteries in archaeology. Hundreds of stone balls are documented sizing from few centimeters to 2 meters in diameter. Most of them are made from a hard igneous stone called granodiorite. Some weigh around 16 tons. These ancient stone structures are monolithic sculptures made by human hands. The spheres number over 300.
They are believed to be carved between 1500 and 500 BC. There are numerous myths and legends related to these spheres. Some claim that they are relics of Atlantis. Others say that the builders softened rocks using a potion. Again we don’t know their purpose but some believe that they were originally carved into perfect spheres and they got damaged and eroded over the centuries.
Derinkuyu is an 18 story massive underground city in the Derinkuyu district in Turkey that dates back to 800 BC. It is large enough to shelter around 20,000 people with livestock and food storage. The depth of the structure extends to 200 feet approximately. It was discovered in 1968 and open for its visitors since 1969. Half of the city is currently accessible for tourists.
It is believed that its construction aimed at creating a place for survival in case of natural disasters or war. The underground chambers were all dug by hands. It has access to fresh flowing water. It also contains individual quarters, tombs, shops, communal rooms and an escape route.
The city can be closed from inside with large stone doors. Every floor can be closed separately. The caves may have been built in the soft volcanic rock of the Cappadocia region.
Gobekli Tepe is one of the oldest stone structures in the world. It was built during the Stone Age, approximately 6000 years older than Stonehenge. Made out of huge hand carved limestone pillars which features carvings of various predatory animals, wonder how the Gobekli Tepe in Turkey must have built when humans were thought to be cavemen.
This ancient stone structure contradicts the historical belief that man learnt to build after he learnt farming. Remains scattered over this site reveals that it was a religious site where gods were pleased in lieu of sacrifices.
Olmec colossal heads are seventeen colossal stone representations of human heads. They were a distinctive feature of the Olmec civilization of ancient Mesoamerica. All the heads portray men with unique headdress. Considering the fact that extremely large stone slabs were used in making them had to be transported from large distances, immense human efforts and resources were applied, implying that all those heads represent powerful rulers of Olmec. The method and logistics used to transport stones for these structures still remain unclear.
Over 5000 years old, Stonehenge is a monument in Wiltshire, England. It is regarded as a British cultural icon. The structure was erected in 3 phases and 30 million man hours. The first stage involved digging holes of about 1 meter in width and depth. They were probably used for religious ceremonies since many human remains have been found cremated in these craters.
Stage two began thousand years later. It involved the transportation and erection of bluestones for a distance of about 240 miles by both land and water. They weighed up to 4 tons. The Sarsen stones weighed up to 50 tons. Modern experts estimated that each of these stones took 500 men to pull them with leather ropes.
And the last stage was the arrangement of stones in crescent and circle, as can be seen today. Even modern machineries would struggle with the weight and size of stones and ancient men built the structure all with their strength.
The city of Petra was built around 300 BC by the Nabateans. The historical city in southern Jordan is famous for its rock cut architecture and water supply system. Nabateans are known for their ability of constructing water collection methods in deserts and carving structures into solid rocks.
Huge dwellings were cut directly into sandstone cliff faces. The ruins of the city are as impressive as it stands. Only 15% of the city has been discovered till now, remaining still buried underground. Several scenes from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade were also shot here. This ancient city is vast in terms of both history and stature with the entrance doorway standing at 250 feet in height.
This site owns various names. It is a walled complex at an altitude of 12,000 feet. It is located in the northern outskirts of the city of Cusco. The ancient structure added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1983.
Three parallel walls are built in different levels. They are made out of lime stones of enormous sizes. The zigzagging walls are made of boulders. One of these walls is 28 feet high and weighs nearly 140 metric tons. The walls are unique. They do not resemble any other ancient stone structures like Stonehenge, Pyramids of Giza and Maya. Scientists are still confused about how these stones were transported and fit so perfectly that not even a blade of grass can slide between them.
An Irish passage tomb that dates back to the Neolithic period around 3200 BC. It is located in County Meath, Ireland. A large circular mound with stone passageways and interior cross shaped chambers is older than Stonehenge and other Egyptian pyramids. The mound is surrounded by 97 curb stones, the largest is placed at the entrance.
The builders of this ancient stone structure overlapped stones over the top until it was fully covered and thus, for the past 5000 years the roof has completely remained waterproof. The entrance stone and the one directly opposite to it on the backside are highly decorated with swirls and Neolithic designs.
Newgrange is known to be a religious site. The most fascinating fact about this place is the space above the entrance i.e. “roof box”. Each year, at the dawn of 21st December, sun enters the roof box and illuminates its light to the entire passage. This accuracy has baffled many scientists and historians since years.
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