Underwater Pyramid: What is the Galilee Anomaly?

Recently, a team of researchers discovered a giant underwater pyramid beneath the Sea of Galilee. What is the Galilee Anomaly?

Underwater Pyramid: What is the Galilee Anomaly?

Underwater Pyramid: What is the Galilee Anomaly?
Description: Professor Aronnax and Captain Nemo visit the ruins of the lost world of Atlantis
Illustration by Alphonse de Neuville and Edouard Riou
Source: Wikimedia Commons

What is the Galilee Anomaly?

Well, it looks like we’ve got another Baltic Anomaly on our hands. Here are the details. During the summer of 2003, a sonar survey captured an image of a large cone-shaped structure in the southwest part of the Sea of Galilee. Almost ten years later, divers finally investigated the strange underwater pyramid.

They found “a conical stone pile built of large, natural, unhewn basalt cobbles and boulders” at a depth of 220 meters. The underwater pyramid rises 10 meters off the seafloor with a diameter of 70 meters. Incidentally, the individual boulders show no signs of human activity.

“Close inspection by scuba diving revealed that the structure is made of basalt boulders up to 1 m 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.” ~ Yitzhak Paz, Moshe Reshef, Zvi Ben-Avraham, Shmuel Marco, Gideon Tibor, and Dani Nadel, A Submerged Monumental Structure in the Sea of Galilee, Israel

Underwater Pyramid: Manmade or Artificial?

Although the boulders show no signs of being worked, the team is convinced this underwater pyramid is a manmade structure. The reason? It appears unnatural and other basalt boulders were not found in the area.

“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. The boulders had to be transported at least a few hundred metres from the nearest basalt outcrop.” ~ Yitzhak Paz, Moshe Reshef, Zvi Ben-Avraham, Shmuel Marco, Gideon Tibor, and Dani Nadel, A Submerged Monumental Structure in the Sea of Galilee, Israel

They think the structure was built on dry land, possibly more than 4,000 years ago. This would match up with other megalithic architecture in the area. But while those ones were spared, the Galilee Anomaly was eventually washed over by the Sea of Galilee. Incidentally, the structure is located a mile north of the ancient city of Khirbet Kerak.

Guerrilla Explorer’s Analysis

The Galilee Anomaly, as I like it call it, is an exciting discovery. But I’m not fully convinced this underwater pyramid is manmade. Just because it appears unnatural doesn’t mean it is unnatural. I’ve touched on this in a previous article, namely how people tend to think certain angles, shapes, and rock formations can’t exist in nature.

“After all, right angles don’t exist in nature right? Wrong. The right angle, contrary to popular opinion, does exist in nature. It’s not some secret invention of mankind. It is just as likely to appear in nature as any other angle. However, nature shows no bias toward the right angle while mankind, on the other hand, makes extensive use of it. Thus, when we see right angles in nature, we’re inclined to immediately suspect artificial origin.” ~ David Meyer, The Baltic Anomaly: Is it Natural…or Artificial?

Also, the team has yet to conduct a full search of the underwater pyramid. There may yet be signs of a basalt outcropping in the area. Until the team conducts a full archaeological excavation, it will be impossible to know for sure.

Remnants of Lost City located in Peru?

"Finding the Lost City"

“Finding the Lost City” (1898)
Attribution: Illustration by L.J. Bridgman
Source: The Lost City by Joseph E. Badger, Jr. (Digitized by Google Books)

Peru, like much of Central and South America, is a veritable treasure trove of lost history. This latest discovery is a lost temple located within the ruins at El Paraiso. However, it’s estimated to be 5,000 years old, making it 1,000 years older than the rest of the ruins. So, it appears to be from a lost city. Here’s more from BBC News:

Archaeologists in Peru say they have discovered a temple at the ancient site of El Paraiso, near the capital, Lima. Entry to the rectangular structure, estimated to be up to 5,000 years old, was via a narrow passageway, they say. At its centre, the archaeologists from Peru’s Ministry of Culture found a hearth which they believe was used to burn ceremonial offerings.

With 10 ruins, El Paraiso is one of the biggest archaeological sites in central Peru. The archaeologists found the structure, measuring 6.82m by 8.04m (22ft by 26ft), in the right wing of the main pyramid…

(See the rest at BBC News)

The Walking Statues of Easter Island?

Easter Island is famous for its 887 giant statues, also called mo‘ai. But how did ancient people move these multi-ton sculptures from where they were built to their present locations? Well, according to legend, they didn’t do anything. Instead, the statues “walked.”

“Moai at Rano Raraku, Easter Island”
Photo by Aurbina (January 2004)
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Background on Easter Island’s Moai

The heaviest statue on Easter Island weighs 86 tons. It was carved from compressed volcanic ash (called tuff) sometime between 1250 and 1500. It can be found at Ahu Tongariki, a stone platform on the island’s southern coast. It’s located about a kilometer from the stone quarry at Rano Raraku. So, this begs the question. How did ancient people move 86 tons of tuff from the quarry to the platform without modern equipment?

Many modern researchers believe moving the statues required deforestation. In other words, chieftains forced the islanders to cut down palm trees to serve as sleds, rollers, and/or levers. This deforestation supposedly destabilized Easter Island’s ecosystem. The result was diminished resources, famine, war, and ultimately, depopulation.

Did Easter Island Moai “Walk”?

The question of why civilizations collapse is a fascinating topic. And Easter Island, from a certain point of view, appears to provide an explanation…resource exploitation. Thus, environment-based researchers like Jared Diamond like to compare the Easter Island situation to the present world, suggesting the need for government-led climate intervention. Incidentally, we tend to have a very different theory about why civilizations collapse…excessive centralization.

Unfortunately, this determination to tie Easter Island’s history to our own future may have kept researchers from exploring other scenarios. Thus, a new theory on the statues has caused massive waves among academics. Archaeologist Carl Lipo and anthropologist Terry Hunt believe the statues moved via a very different mechanism…they “walked.”

In other words, the statues were lifted into a vertical position (or perhaps carved in that manner) and then rocked down roads using ropes. As you can see in this film, only eighteen people and three ropes were needed to maneuver a 10-foot tall, 5-ton replica of an Easter Island statue down a road.

Of course, this is just 5 tons. But Lipo and Hunt believe it’s scalable

“With the physics of the taller statue, you have greater leverage. It almost gets to the point where you would have to do it that way.” ~ Carl Lipo, Archaeologist

Dozens of fallen statues lie near the roads leading out of the main quarry. It’s possible they fell due to broken ropes or human error. They couldn’t be lifted again so they were abandoned.This theory threatens to overturn decades of research. Ancient Easter Islanders have long been viewed in somewhat derogatory fashion. Supposedly, they destroyed an island paradise because they couldn’t stop themselves from building and carrying their statues across the island.But this new theory would’ve required far less manpower and resources. In fact, it might’ve been seen as somewhat of a sport.

“You’re actually putting a lot of your effort into the process of moving a statue rather than fighting. Moving the moai was a little bit like playing a football game.” ~ Terry Hunt, Anthropologist

Why did Easter Island Collapse?

Also, Lipo and Hunt believe Easter Island was never a paradise. Instead, they think it was a rather difficult place to live. And indeed, archaeological evidence increasingly shows that the natives were “resourceful engineers” who learned to work with Easter Island’s limited resources. For example, they pulverized rock and used it as mulch to help grow crops in demineralized soil.

There is more at stake here than just how the statues were moved. Jared Diamond and others have attempted to use Easter Island in order to support their theories of ecocide. Thus, it should come as no surprise that Diamond took exception to Lipo’s and Hunt’s work.

“The islanders did inadvertently destroy the environmental underpinnings of their society. They did so, not because they were especially evil or deprived of foresight, but because they were ordinary people, living in a fragile environment, and subject to the usual human problems of clashes between group interests, clashes between individual and group interests, selfishness, and limited ability to predict the future. Does that remind you of any problems that we ourselves face today? That’s why we find Easter’s story so gripping, and why it may offer us lessons.” ~ Jared Diamond, ‘The Myths of Easter Island’ – Jared Diamond responds

Lipo and Hunt retorted by pointing out the many gaps in the current theories surrounding Easter Island.

“An important role of scholarship is to examine long-held myths and see if they hold up under modern scientific tests. The original Easter Island thesis, in any of its iterations, including Diamond’s, does not. Let us point out that we didn’t go to Easter Island to tear down Diamond’s thesis. We went there to support it by filling in the missing archeological data. It was only when we convinced ourselves that any iteration of that original story, including Diamond’s, had no archeological evidence to support it and much to contract it that we began to see where the research was leading us.” ~ Carl Lipo & Terry Hunt, ‘The Easter Island Ecocide Never Happened’ – response to Jared Diamond

Guerrilla Explorer’s Analysis

The debate over Easter Island is far from over. In fact, it’s just heating up. In many ways, it reminds me of the hotly-contested debate over what killed the dinosaurs (a debate that continues even today). But this, in our opinion, is a good thing. Comfortable theories and assumptions need to be shaken up from time to time.Lipo and Hunt’s statue-walking exhibition doesn’t really prove anything. But it shows that  “walking” via ropes and manpower was a possible method of transportation. Interestingly enough, it also fits with oral legends saying the statues “walked” down the roads to their present positions.If correct, what does this say about the ecocide theory? Well, not much in our opinion. The truth is, we’ve never bought into Diamond’s attempts to tie the past to the future. What happened on Easter Island hundreds of years ago has very little relevance to the present. In other words, we think “history has absolutely no predictive power.”

“The notion of a law of historical change is self-contradictory. History is a sequence of phenomena that are characterized by their singularity. Those features which an event has in common with other events are not historical.” ~ Ludwig von Mises, Theory and History

The Forgotten Walls of China?

The Great Wall of China isn’t really a single wall. Instead, it’s a catchall term to describe the many fortifications built in China over the last ~2,700 years. Recently, archaeologists finished a 5-year project to map these structures. What are the Forgotten Great Walls of China?

The Great Wall of China (1907)

The Great Wall of China
Attribution: Herbert Ponting (1907)
Source: Wikimedia Commons

The Forgotten Great Walls of China?

China’s first walls sprouted up around the 7th century BC, probably to keep Mongol invaders at bay. Many additional walls have been built over the years and some of them have been linked together. The wall most commonly associated with “The Great Wall of China” is actually a series of structures which were restored during the Ming Dynasty.

Recently, China’s State Administration of Cultural Heritage and the State Bureau of Surveying and Mapping completed a 5-year archaeological survey of China. Back in 2009, surveyors had estimated the total length of the Great Wall of China at about 5,500 miles. Now, Xinhua, China’s government-owned news agency, is reporting the completion of the survey. The wall’s total length has been updated…to 13,170.6956 miles!

Guerrilla Explorer’s Analysis

That’s a lot of walls. But don’t get too excited. Most of these “forgotten” structures are gone. Only the remnants remain. Even the famed Ming Dynasty wall is just a shell of its former self. Only 8.2% of it still stands. And 75% of its surviving sections are extremely dilapidated. Also, some of the walls run parallel to each other. And many of them aren’t so much walls as “earthworks or ditches.”

Interestingly enough, the 13,170 mile figure might still be low. China’s borders have shifted dramatically over the centuries. Back in March, we reported on the discovery of a “lost” section of the Great Wall of China in the Gobi Desert…outside of China’s current borders. Are there more walls out there, waiting to be found? Only time will tell.

The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World?

By the 4th century BC, the ancient Greeks had conquered much of Egypt, Persia, and Babylonia. This opened the door for ancient travel writers to record the most amazing structures in the so-called “known world.” What were the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World?

What are the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World?

What were the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World?
Description: A collage depicting the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
Attribution: Maarten van Heemskerck
Source: Wikimedia Commons

What were the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World?

Multiple versions of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World exist. However, the canonical version is generally listed as follows:

  1. Great Pyramid of Giza
  2. Hanging Gardens of Babylon
  3. Temple of Artemis at Ephesus
  4. Statue of Zeus at Olympia
  5. Mausoleum at Halicarnassus
  6. Colossus of Rhodes
  7. Lighthouse of Alexandria

Considering the nationality of the travel writers, it should be no surprise that Greek architecture dominates this list. Only the Great Pyramid of Giza and the Hanging Gardens of Babylon came from civilizations outside of Greece. Interestingly enough, those Seven Wonders only existed at the same time for about 55 years. That’s the lifespan of the magnificent, but extremely short-lived Colossus of Rhodes.

However, the canonical list isn’t the original one. For example, check out this poem written by Antipater of Sidon in 140 BC.

“I have set eyes on the wall of lofty Babylon on which is a road for chariots, and the statue of Zeus by the Alpheus, and the hanging gardens, and the colossus of the Sun, and the huge labour of the high pyramids, and the vast tomb of Mausolus; but when I saw the house of Artemis that mounted to the clouds, those other marvels lost their brilliancy, and I said, ‘Lo, apart from Olympus, the Sun never looked on aught so grand.'” ~ Antipater of Sidon, Greek Anthology (IX.58)

Interesting huh? His list of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World has the Walls of Babylon (which includes the famous Ishtar Gate) instead of the Lighthouse of Alexandria. And older lists include even more variations. Diodorus mentions a mysterious obelisk in Babylon as “among the seven wonders of the world.” The Palace of Cyrus has also been mentioned in this regard. Supposedly, the earliest Seven Wonders lists didn’t include any non-Greek monuments. Unfortunately, none of those lists exist today.

Sadly, other than the Great Pyramid of Giza, all the ancient wonders have succumbed to the ravages of time. In addition, numerous questions surround the inclusion of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. Indeed, many modern scholars question its very existence.

Updating the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World?

Just as the original list of wonders changed over the years, many modern groups have created their own lists. Perhaps the most notable one comes from the New7Wonders Foundation:

  1. Great Wall of China
  2. Petra
  3. Christ the Redeemer
  4. Machu Picchu
  5. Chichen Itza
  6. Colosseum
  7. Taj Majal
  8. Great Pyramid of Giza (Honorary Member)

Guerrilla Explorer’s Analysis

But should we take this list seriously? After all, it excludes the Moai of Easter Island, the Statue of Liberty, and Angor Wat. Furthermore, this was a popularity poll conducted in part on the Internet. Since there were no steps taken to prevent multiple votes, there was no way to stop ballot box stuffing.

Regardless, there are literally hundreds of possible candidates for a modern Seven Wonders of the World. In fact, there are so many candidates, its impossible for everyone to agree on one list. And as far as I’m concerned, that’s a good thing. It indicates the world we’ve created is literally full of Wonders.

The Longest Bridge of the Ancient World?

During the late 7th century, Maya engineers constructed the longest Maya bridge known to exist in the ancient world. It spanned 113 meters across the Usumacinta River and was designed to allow residents of Yaxchilan to reach their villages and farms.

Is this an ancient Maya bridge?

Is this an ancient Maya bridge?
Description: A pile of debris in the Usumacinta River. Archaeologists speculate it may be part of an ancient Maya bridge.
Attribution: Neatguy at en.wikipedia
Source: Wikimedia Commons

The Maya Bridge – The Longest Bridge of the Ancient World?

Here’s more from the discoverer of the Maya bridge, James O’Kon:

The Maya city of Yaxchilan is sited within a giant omega of the Usumacinta River. This circular bend in the river developed a 3.2 kilometer wide land mass within the inner curve of the river. This protected area, formed within the confines of the inner curve of the river, created a natural fortress for the city. However, the river is in a flood state for six months of the year, and during the rainy season the broad and swiftly flowing waters isolated the city from access to its domain across the river.

In order to survive as a viable urban center, this ancient city required a dependable year-round way to cross the river. While the site had been studied by archaeologists since 1882, the need for a bridge crossing was not considered as a necessity by archaeological studies. The ancient ruins that were the clues to the existence of this lost landmark of Maya Engineering were hiding in plain sight…The need for a permanent lifeline to insure the survival of the city during the flood season was overlooked by archaeologists until James O’Kon carried out a series of expeditions, forensic engineering investigations, archaeo-engineering analysis, remote sensing, and computer modeling of this structure lead to the digital re-construction of the bridge. Constructed in the late 7th century, landmark three-span suspension bridge crossed from the city center over the Usumacinta River to the north side where the villages and farms were located…

The Hidden Side of Easter Island: Part 2

A couple of weeks ago, we talked about a photo from Thor Heyerdahl’s excavation of the tallest mo’ai on Easter Island (37 feet tall). Recently, it came to our attention that the Easter Island Statue Project (EISP) is excavating two other mo’ai. They might not be as tall as Heyerdahl’s statue, but they more than make up for it in terms of mystery.

Easter Island Mo’ai (1997)
Source: Wikimedia Commons

“Both of our excavated statues, as you know from our previous letters, are intriguing because they are nearly unique on Easter Island. While many statues have individual petroglyphs, these and only one other statue—of over 1,000 we have documented—have multiple petroglyphs carved as a composition on their backs. Underlying these carvings is a complex symbol found on less than 100 statues. It is referred to by previous researchers as the “ring and girdle” design, and sometimes said to represent the “sun and rainbow.” However, statue RR-001-156 and some others have two “rings” above the crescent “girdle.” We have long interpreted this form as the Rapa Nui version of the Polynesian maro or loincloth (marois also a unit of measurement).” ~ Jo Anne Van Tilburg, Ph.D., Director, EISP

(See Easter Island Statue Project for additional commentary as well as more photos)

The Hidden Side of Easter Island?

Probably all of you have seen pictures of Easter Island’s famous mo‘ai. But the statues are much larger than those pictures suggest. Back in 1987, Thor Heyerdahl received permission to temporarily excavate the tallest statue on Easter Island (37 feet tall).

Easter Island, two Europeans and Moai (1880)
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Easter Island’s Mo’ai: The Full Picture

Check out this photograph of a giant Mo’ai head from Easter Island. As you can see, it has a giant underground body to go with it. The statue’s arms run down its sides and the hands are folded across its mid-section. By the way, Thor Heyerdahl is the man standing on the statue’s left side (your right). He is wearing a blue shirt and blue pants and his arm is resting against the statue’s side.

Sadly, you can’t see this body today…Heyerdahl reburied the bottom half of the statue shortly after completing his measurements. That’s all for now…enjoy!

The “Lost” Great Wall of China?

Contrary to popular opinion, the Great Wall of China wasn’t built all at once. Construction on various walls to keep out Mongol invaders began as early as the 7th century BC. Over the ensuing centuries, more walls were built. The current standing wall was largely restored from earlier versions during the Ming Dynasty.

The Great Wall of China (1907)

The Great Wall of China
Attribution: Herbert Ponting (1907)
Source: Wikimedia Commons

The Lost Great Wall of China?

Due to the nature of its construction, scholars have long suspected the existence of “lost” sections of the Great Wall of China. And now, thanks to an international expedition along with Google Earth, one of those lost sections has been located…in the Gobi Desert…and interestingly enough, outside China’s current borders. Here’s more on the lost Great Wall of China from National Geographic:

A forgotten section of the Great Wall of China has been discovered deep in the Gobi Desert—and outside of China—researchers say. With the help of Google Earth, an international expedition documented the ancient wall for roughly 100 kilometers (62 miles) in a restricted border zone in southern Mongolia in August 2011.

The defensive barrier formed part of the Great Wall system built by successive Chinese dynasties to repel Mongol invaders from the north, according to findings published in the March issue of the Chinese edition of National Geographic magazine.

Preserved to a height of 9 feet (2.75 meters) in places, the desert discovery belongs to a sequence of remnant walls in Mongolia collectively known as the Wall of Genghis Khan, said expedition leader and Great Wall researcher William Lindesay

(See National Geographic for more on the lost Great Wall of China)

The Lost City of Calakmul

Deep in the jungles of the Petén Basin lies Calakmul, one of the great lost cities of the Mayas.

A Pyramid in the Lost City of Calakmul

Becán, Campeche: A Pyramid in the Lost City of Calakmul
Attribution: Joaquín Martínez Rosado
Source: Wikimedia Commons

The Lost City of Calakmul?

The lost city of Calakmul remained undiscovered by outsiders until 1931. Since that time, it’s become more accessible but just barely. It’s an archaeological paradise and contains the second-largest Maya structure known to exist…the 184-foot tall Structure II. Here’s more on the fabulous lost city of Calakmul from Air Tran Magazine:

Around here, the signs of ancient Maya civilization are everywhere, rising like ghosts from the ground. In the state of Campeche (which borders Cancun’s Quintana Roo on the west), Mexico’s archeological authority, INAH, has catalogued more than 1,500 Maya sites. These sprawling, longago cities and towns covered so much of the area that when the government sought to widen Highway 180, it had to choose which ruins were small enough to plow under and which were worthy of preservation.

Even amid such archeological bounty, though, an ancient city called Calakmul stands out…

(See Lost in the Jungle for more on the lost city of Calakmul)