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Trilithon stone at Baalbek

Archaeologists Uncover the World’s Largest Ancient Stone Block at Baalbek

The above image, of the “Hajjar al-Hibla” (Stone of the Pregnant Woman) in the quarry at Baalbek, Lebanon, is one of my favourite historical pictures ever. The massive monolith has widely been regarded as the heaviest stone block ever cut by humans, with an estimated weight of around 1250 tons.

Little did we know, however, that a bigger monolith lurked nearby. In fact, right beside it. Archaeologists have excavated another block beside the Hajjar al-Hibla, that dwarfs it, clocking in at an almost unimaginable 1650 tons:

Below the “Hajjar al-Hibla” and directly beside of it, there is another megalithic stone block, even bigger than the first one: it measures ca. 19,60x6x5,5m. In order to determine the exact height, the trenches should be extended in one of the next archaeological expeditions at the site. The second block weighs 1,650 tons. Archaeologists concluded that the block was meant to be transported without being cut. This means, that it is the biggest known ancient stone block.

And here it is, lying to the immediate right of its more well-known sibling.

Largest monolith in the world

I’m calling it.

    1. Yes, simply amazing
      I agree; now will mainstream take another look at not only Baalbek and Gobekli Tepe but all the other similar sites? I hope so but I’m not holding my breath.

      I bet the conclusion is that these stone blocks ‘were never meant to be moved…’

      1. We are all familiar here with
        We are all familiar here with the “wheel” theory of moving such massive stones? The stones were fitted with giant wheels at the ends – the stone was the axis – and the stones were carefully and slowly rolled into place – that’s the theory anyway.


            The problem with the “wheel” theory is that there would be great risk of the stone cracking under its own weight somewhere along the middle unless there was a 3rd wheel in the center, but then all the wheels would have to be identical in diameter. I suppose the colossal weight of the stone would sort of mash the purported wheels to the same rough diameter though.

  1. More photos please
    I too love that original photo and it’s great to see it from another angle. Clearly there has been a lot of soil removed in the interim. I’m sure it’s the angle of the photo, but the Hajjar stone looks much smaller. I wish there were more photos of this site available.

    1. Let’s assume they used very
      Let’s assume they used very well rounded logs as rollers – lots of perfectly rounded and equally diametered logs. I cannot imagine them remaining round for very long under such a load. Every time the tugging stopped a flat would develop on the top of each log and the integrity of the rolling surface would deteriorate.

      Recently I saw on the telly a probable technique for sliding pyramid blocks into place that used a very lubricious mud. Perhaps on a very flat road made for dragging such a behemoth and laborers constantly charging the lane ahead with the lubricant a stone that size could be dragged. Heck, they might have even mixed olive oil or animal fat into the mud.

      1. Moving them
        If the logs were compressed enough that the weight of the stone caused them to deform, it seems unlikely that they could be used at all, as a “flat” would require significant amount of extra force to overcome the friction and get it moving. Imagine trying to push a car with four flat tires. My guess is, if they did use logs, they were of extremely hard wood (even the bible mentions ebony), used in large quantities and lubricated with animal fat. And literally thousands of slave laborers around to keep things going. The wet sand method works on a level, sandy desert – this terrain looks fairly rocky…..
        Regardless, it boggles the mind……. where was it going? If someone had the ability to get those huge stones far away to some temple- just think what they would have built with it- imagine that thing being hoisted three stories in the air……

        1. Even in ancient times getting
          Even in ancient times getting ebony logs of sufficient diameter to be practical would have been very difficult. Even virgin ebony trees don’t get very large in diameter. They could have used other hard woods from tropical Africa such as say, bubinga, but that project alone would equal in difficulty and pain in the assedness the making of the blocks. Really though, I don’t think that even the hardest woods such as lignum vitae would have remained at all round under such a load.

          As for lubricants, we can’t even rule out petroleum derived oils and waxes:

          “This is one of those impossible to know for sure questions…. because use of petroleum pre-dates the invention of writing.

          Remember…. all over the world tar pits, asphalt deposits, and surface crude oil exist. It was almost certainly these surface deposits of petroleum that were first used by people.

          Probably…. the first people were a stone age culture. There is archaeological evidence that natural tar was used by some groups to attach stone points to arrow shafts.

          We know that the ancient Persians and Egyptians used tar to waterproof items including ships. Egyptians used it to embalm mummies too. There is evidence tar was used extensively by the ancient Chinese too.

          Bottom line…. petroleum has been used since pre-history…. and was so useful that it never stopped being used since prehistory.

  2. moving the blocks
    I find this absolutely fascinating, I have read through the comments and yes some are plausible but I thought I would add my piece here, as I am a builder and have some experience in moving heavy objects by hand, firstly the mud option, well it would need an additive as suggested because just soil and water mixed to mud would create a lot of suction thus making it impossible to move hence why we put a mortar plasticiser with sand and cement to make it workable, I have in the past used small iron rods/bars to roll heavy steel beams into properties but I am pretty damn sure using wooden logs to roll sixteen hundred tons of rock would literally crush the wood. As for wheels well that just makes me laugh, totally ridiculous.
    I think we need to think totally outside the box for this one.
    except the box is very well taped up and I cant get my brain out of it.. that’s why I love the mystery.
    love it
    andy.. merry xmas to you all

    1. I would love to see the
      I would love to see the psychic medium Amy Allen (of “The Dead Files”) brought over to sites like Baalbek to see if she could pick up any imagery of what may have been going on. She is uncannily accurate at doing that with haunted properties as subsequent local historical research verifies, but she has never tackled anything as remote in time as a place like Baalbek.

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