A massive 54,000 ton pile of basalt under the Sea of Galilee off the Israeli coast, discovered. Archaeologists are not certain if the ‘cairn’ was assembled on dry land, during a period of low water levels in the lake, or if it was build underwater. Image © Shmuel Marco
The peculiar structure was originally discovered in 2003 by sonar, but divers have now are investigate it, according to researcher Yitzhak Paz of Ben-Gurion University’s Israel Antiquity Authority. The object could be as much as 4,000 years old, is twice the size of Stonehenge and built around the same time. It measures 10 meters (32 feet) in height and about 70 meters (230 feet) across.
Dr Yitzhak Paz, said:
“The more logical possibility is that it belongs to the third millennium BC, because there are other megalithic phenomena close by.
Close inspection by scuba diving revealed that the structure is made of basalt boulders up to a metre long with no apparent construction pattern. The boulders have natural faces with no signs of cutting or chiselling. Similarly, we did not find any sign of arrangement or walls that delineate this structure.
The shape and composition of the submerged structure does not resemble any natural feature. We therefore conclude that it is man-made and might be termed a cairn.”
Images from the underwater cairn revealed basalt boulders made up the structure. Image © Shmuel Marco
The Sea of Galilee, also Kinneret, Lake of Gennesaret, or Lake Tiberias, is the largest freshwater lake in Israel, and it is approximately 53 km (33 mi) in circumference, about 21 km (13 mi) long, and 13 km (8.1 mi) wide. The lake has a total area of 166 km2 (64 sq mi), and a maximum depth of approximately 43 m (141 feet). At 211.315 metres (693.29 ft) below sea level, it is the lowest freshwater lake on Earth and the second-lowest lake overall (after the Dead Sea, a saltwater lake). The lake is fed partly by underground springs although its main source is the Jordan River which flows through it from north to south.