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Was Baalbek a Spaceport for Extraterrestrials?
The Megalithic Stonework at Baalbek is astonishing!
Ancient astronaut theorists have made many claims supporting their theory that extraterrestrials visited the earth in antiquity and helped various civilizations construct grand architecture. If there’s one major aspect of their “evidence,” it’s that they claim the ancient people of this planet were incapable of moving monoliths – some of which weighing hundreds of tons – from one place to another and then setting them in place.
The purpose of this article is to address this issue. Were the ancient people of this planet skillful enough to create such marvels as the Pyramids of Giza, Stonehenge, Carnac in Brittany, Sacsayhuamán, Pumapunku, Baalbek or many others?
Please keep reading!
History of Baalbek
The human settlement at Baalbek goes back perhaps 9,000 years, which would make it roughly the same age as Jericho, one of the world’s oldest settlements. The remnants of this earliest occupation lie at the bottom of the so-called Baalbek tell.
Bible Archaeologists from the nineteenth century wanted to link Baalbek with Baalgad, as mentioned in the Book of Joshua, circa the thirteenth century B.C.E., though this connection has always been considered a weak one. Also, some Persian artifacts have been found at the site, these dating from about 500 B.C.E.
When Alexander the Great conquered the Persian Empire in 334 B.C.E. Baalbek was named Heliopolis. Then, just before the birth of Christ, the Roman Empire took over the city during the reign of Augustus. Interestingly, the Romans created at Baalbek some of the largest religious temples in the Roman Empire, perhaps the most impressive of which is the Temple of Bacchus.
In 60 C.E., the Temple of Jupiter was completed at Baalbek. It was, at the time, the largest temple in the Roman Empire. Some of the megaliths used to make this spectacular work of architecture weigh 100 tons! The colonnade was comprised of 54 Corinthian columns, each of which more than 60 feet in length. About 530 C.E., Justinian moved eight of the columns to Constantinople. Today, only six columns remain in the temple.
The Romans also constructed the Temple of Venus at Baalbek. Offended by Venus’ sensuality, the early Christians attacked her worship whenever they got the chance. Attesting to this vilification of the Cult of Venus, Christians built a basilica or two at Baalbek.
In 673 C.E., the Muslims invaded Baalbek, overcame the Byzantine army and then established dominion over the city for centuries, building many forts in the area along the way to protect their interests.
How Were the Enormous Stone Blocks Moved into Place?
Experts such as Roger Hopkins, Mark Lehrner and Vince Lee have tried to ascertain how the various massive stone blocks at Baalbek were moved into place. Hopkins concluded that wooden rollers were used to move the 300-ton monoliths. (Presumably this method was also used to move blocks such as the Stone of the Pregnant Woman, which can be found in the quarry and weighs over 1,000 tons!) Hopkins used this method to move stones weighing only 10 tons, but the help of over 100 people were sometimes needed. He theorized that once the stone blocks had been moved one mile from the quarry to the job site, levers and cranes were then used to lift them into place at the temples.
At times, earthen ramps may have been used to raise the blocks to higher areas, and sand would often be used to help set these immense blocks in place. (The sand was slowly drained away as the block gradually moved into the correct alignment.) Incidentally, such techniques were almost certainly used to build ancient temples and monuments during the Old Kingdom in Egypt, when the Pyramids of Giza were built, though much of this construction took place about 2,500 years earlier than what the Romans accomplished at Baalbek.
For many years, people such as Hopkins, et al. have tried to move megaliths using ancient building techniques but the results have been only minimally successful. Nevertheless, it’s been proven that these old techniques do work. We're simply not near as good at it as the ancients were!
What about Extraterrestrials?
The TV program Ancient Aliens on the History Channel has a particular point of view. On the episode entitled “Sacred Places,” ancient astronaut theorists claim that the massive stone blocks comprising the base of the temple complex at Baalbek are 9,000 years old. They also claim these blocks weigh from 800 to 2,000 tons. Actually, there are unused blocks in the nearby quarry weighing over 1,000 tons, but evidence shows the Romans used stones from this quarry, not Neolithic people some 9,000 years ago.
These theorists also claim that the base of the temple complex was - “tens of thousands of years ago,” as they describe it - used as a landing pad or spaceport for extraterrestrial spacecraft, the assumption being that these ETs built the base for this purpose. As support for this hypothesis, they say that the Epic of Gilgamesh, written about 4,000 years ago by the Sumerians, called Baalbek the landing place of the gods!
There is no evidence that spacecraft of any sort have ever been to Baalbek. Nor is there any evidence that advanced machinery was used to move and place the megaliths at the site so spaceships could land there. Furthermore, there’s no evidence that aliens taught the Persians, Greeks or Romans how to build anything at Baalbek or any other place!
It would be truly incredible if the thousand-ton stone blocks used to make Baalbek were indeed 9,000 years old, but there’s no evidence to support the great antiquity of those monoliths. But we know that the Greeks and the Romans circa 2,000 to 2,500 years ago could move such blocks using cranes, levers and rollers. Moreover, throughout the world ancient people constructed massive stone buildings for thousands of years.
Could extraterrestrials have taught civilizations around the world how to build megalithic structures? Perhaps they simply hopped about in their flying saucers, spreading the word as it were. Judging from what ancient astronaut enthusiasts assert, you’d think this is actually what happened!
Be that as it may, even if it could be proven that any of the stone blocks at Baalbek are 9,000 years old, there’s no proof that Baalbek at any point in time was used as a spaceport for aliens. Now if somebody could find an extraterrestrial spaceship - maybe one that crashed near Baalbek thousands of years ago - then ancient astronaut proponents could shout, I TOLD YOU SO!
Until that time we’ll have to assume that the ancient people of earth produced all the artifacts attributed to them. They were just as capable and talented as modern people; they simply lacked our vaunted high-tech toys.
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© 2011 Kelley