Zvi Ben-Avraham of Tel Aviv University and Emanuele Lodolo of the National Institute of Oceanography and Experimental Geophysics in Trieste, have discovered a monolith in deep water, resting on a spot that was once an island off the coast of Sicily. Their study has been published in the Journal of Archeological Science.

3-D perspective view of the high-resolution bathymetric map where the monolith has been discovered. No vertical exaggeration. Numbers indicate the locations of the corresponding rock samples.
Image source Journal of Archeological Science, supplied.

The 12-metre high, limestone monolithic structure is believed to have been carved by stone-age men some nine millennia ago. This enormous stone totem was cut using primitive tools from a rocky outcrop found a few hundred meters away from its current position in an age when the Mediterranean Sea was still a dry basin.

“It was cut and extracted as a single stone from the outer rectilinear ridge situated about 300 to the south, and then transported and possibly erected,” the study reads. ”From the size of the monolith, we may presume that it weighs about 15 tons.”

The bloc now rests, split in two, on the bed of the Mediterranean Sea in the Sicilian Channel -between Tunisia and Sicily- under 40 meters of water.

The two pieces of the monolith. Image source Journal of Archeological Science, supplied.

The two pieces of the monolith.
Image source Journal of Archeological Science, supplied.

The area was submerged about 9350 years ago (give or take 200 years) when the last Ice Age retreated. Before that time the area was believed to be something of an archipelago, with a string of islands linking Europe to North Africa via a shallow sea.

The most striking feature the carvers cut into the stone are three deep holes. Two of these are on the sides of the stone, the third passes through the stone at one end.

“There are no reasonable known natural processes that may produce these elements,” the team wrote in the Journal of Archaeological Science.

The three holes cut into the monolith. Image source ndad

The three holes cut into the monolith.
Image source Journal of Archeological Science, supplied.

Archeologists believe that the monolith had a practical, rater than religious use to the community. The island it was created on, Pantelleria Vecchia Bank, housed a thriving people that traded by sea and fished, before it was swallowed up by the Mediterranean.

“Most likely the structure was functional to the settlement. These people were used to fishing and trading with the neighboring islands. It could have been some sort of a lighthouse or an anchoring system, for example,” Lodolo said.

Manufacturing, moving and erecting a monolith of such size required careful cutting work, extraction techniques and transportation. Such skills had not been previously associated with such an ancient people, the study says.

“The discovery of the submerged site in the Sicilian Channel may significantly expand our knowledge of the earliest civilisations in the Mediterranean basin and our views on technological innovation and development achieved by the Mesolithic inhabitants.”

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14 Comments

  1. 1

    God must of placed it there 4,000 years before it created everything else. One the first day, God created the Monolith, and 4000 years later he said, “let there be light”

  2. 2

    The word of God is the truth, like it or not. The word of man is fallible. You think scientists can tell the age of something that is under ocean water just by looking at it? Scientists who once thought the world was flat. Scientists that once thought the earth was the center of the universe. Science has been proven to be wrong time and time again. The Bible has never been proven wrong. You have put your faith in the wrong thing my friend. If you have never read the Bible, I suggest you do so. You would be amazed at what you find out.

  3. 3

    Everyone’s entitled to their own religious beliefs, but I’m sorry, your statement is just flat out wrong. Scientists have never thought the world was flat, not in the last 2,000 years any way. We’ve known the world is spherical since 3rd century BC thanks to Hellenistic astronomy, and Magellan’s expedition in the 1500s showed beyond the shadow of a doubt that we live in a spherical world. It was actually the church rejecting this idea, just like you are rejecting a perfectly valid scientific study right now.

    As for taking the Bible as a factual book, where do I even start? With the idea of a “firmament”, a solid dome that separates the earth from the sky? The Moon which according to the Bible emits light, but in reality just reflects it? All the historical inaccuracies, the Great Flood, the inconsistencies from creating the world?

    The Bible is a book of myths, and a remarkable one at that – not a place for scientific information. Embrace whatever religion you will, but don’t use it as an excuse for ignorance. A religion that will have you reject science is not a fair one.

  4. 4

    LMFAO, Poe’s Law? Well played. I agree, anyone that has read the bible will be amazed how how gullible religious people are. I was raised ultra religious and even went to parochial school, and after reading it the second time all the way through I realized it was a bunch of hooey.

  5. 5

    The actual real answer is that first of all we do not actually know how old it is. The Bible makes no claim as to how many years ago the earth was created. Science on the other hand might have to adjust their views about how long people have been on the Earth.

  6. 6

    I think they’re being sarcastic, no? Lets start with the first phrase, let there be light and he saw that it was good, and then he separated the light from the dark, and then four days later he created the Sun. Seriously, if this god is so omnipotent, why would he asked why they ate from the tree of knowledge? And if the tree of knowledge was gave so much knowledge, why didn’t Adam say something like, “I don’t know, why don’t you tell me? You’re supposed to know everything.”

  7. 7

    Science holds that Homo Sapiens have been around for a couple of hundred thousand years, and regional genomes date back 15,000 years or more.

  8. 8

    While the Bible itself doesn’t, it does provide figures that have been used to calculate it.

    James Ussher assumed all the years the patriarchs lived were exactly 365.25 days long and that they all died the day before their next birthday. Using this idea, he calculated Sunday, October 23, 4004 B.C.

    Among the flaws in this technique is the assumption that the Biblical geneology is complete. T’ain’t so. Leaving names out for the sake of brevity was common as opposed to now. Hebrew use of the word ‘son’ is also much looser than today and could mean ‘great-grandson- in a particular context.

    Similar vagueries occur with ‘father’.

    Then there’re inconsistencies in day lengths. This gets quite a bit more involved and more information on this can be found at: http://godandscience.org/youngearth/age_of_the_earth.html.

  9. 9
  10. 10

    Funny thing about all that is that it’s science that has proven previous ideas (what you’re calling ‘science’) wrong. The Bible has never done so.

    It does, however, contradict itself numerous times; thus proving itself to be erroneous or ‘wrong’.

    Even if you have read the Bible, I suggest you do so again more critically. You would be amazed at what you find out.

  11. 11

    He asked because he wanted to give them the opportunity to ‘fess up. Like any child, they were abashed at getting caught misbehaving.

    You might be amused by God Shuffled His Feet by the Crash Test Dummies.

  12. 12

    You might find this site interesting: http://godandscience.org/youngearth/age_of_the_earth.html

  13. 13
  14. 14

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