The largest stone building block ever carved by human hands has been found by German archeologists. The stone, which could be more than 2,000 years old, was found in a quarry in Baalbek, Lebanon. It was most likely carved by Romans of Heliopolis, the ancient city that contained “one of the grandest sanctuaries in the empire,” writes Discovery News.
The stone was found next to a previously discovered 1,000-ton stone known as Hajjar al-Hibla, or the The Stone of the Pregnant Woman, along with another block weighing 1,240 tons. The new stone measures 64 feet lengthwise by 19.6 feet wide and 18 feet tall, bringing it to a hefty 1,650 tons. The German Archeological Institute said in a statement that the stone is “the biggest boulder known from antiquity.” They were also able to discern the stone’s probable purpose. “The level of smoothness indicate the block was meant to be transported and used without being cut,” the statement said. “Massive stone blocks of a 64-foot length were used for the podium of the huge Temple of Jupiter in the sanctuary.”
Archeologists believe that the stone was probably abandoned, along with the others, due to their quality and the difficulty that transporting them would pose. “It would have probably cracked during transportation,” the Archeological Institute’s statement said of the Hajjar al-Hibla block. The newly discovered stone is still partially buried, so it remains to be seen whether it wasn’t transported for similar reasons. The archeologists hope that this revelation will help them better understand ancient mining methods.
[h/t: Discovery News]