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Veigard
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2008 8:24 pm
Posts: 12
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 9:22 pm 
 

What I want to discuss here is pseudo-archeology and how much of it stands up to the scrutiny of reason and actual archaeological evidence. There are tons of meta-physical and pseudo-archaeological theories about everything remotely mysterious like Stonehenge, the Great Pyramids and the temple complex at Baalbek to name a few. Of course this practice of coming up with strange theories to explain mysterious archaeological findings doesn't just apply to megalithic structures. It extends to archaeanthropology and even geology.

I'll start off by giving an example. The temple complex of Baalbek is located in Jordan and contains the largest known obelisks from antiquity. Some of the pieces are so large that no one is 100% sure how much they really weigh. Estimates range from 1000 to 1500 TONS.

Notice the person on the left, and compare his size with the obelisks in the middle layer of the structure.
Image

Here is another photo of a piece which was never fully cut out of the quarry. Again, notice the size of the people. Keep in mind that these photos are not shopped and that the site is a famous tourist attraction, meaning it isn't a hoax.
Image

The most prevalent pseudo-archeology theory about Baalbek will have you think that a structure of this monstrous size could not have been constructed by mere humans, thus implicating ancient technologies, advanced unknown civilizations, giants or even aliens. They also dispute that the site is of Roman origin, claiming that it has existed since the time of the Canaanites, and that the Romans simply built upon it as the Arabs did even later down the road.

The site was excavated and analyzed by an archaeological team in the early 1900's, and they found no evidence to indicate what the crackpots are saying. The structure was found to be of typical roman honeycomb masonry down to its foundation. The quarry site also happens to be higher up in elevation than the temple, meaning the obelisks were never lifted into place, but simply dragged and rotated. Instead of writing about how this could have been accomplished, I'll provide an awesome linky to a video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lRRDzFROMx0

As the video shows, one person alone can accomplish what seems impossible with a bit of ingenuity and no modern technology or materials. Having inexhaustible manpower, brilliant architects and clever engineers at their disposal, it isn't so hard to imagine the Romans constructing the temple at Baalbek.

Obviously I haven't presented all of the evidence which supports or disclaims both the mainstream theory and the pseudo-archeology theory or theories, however I think I summarized it well. If you want the details, Google is your friend.

This is an example which has been refuted already and yet it still persists, lurking in the corners of the web for those who aren't satisfied with the truth.

Other topics we can discuss are the existence of a race of giants in the not-so distant past, Ooparts (out of place artifacts), and anything in relation to this you are intrigued by.

By the way, I'm a long time lurker, but just recently registered.

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alexanderthegreat
Metal Barbarian Dinosaur

Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2003 5:34 pm
Posts: 1916
Location: United Kingdom
PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2008 8:57 am 
 

A very nice post. I'm also very intrigued by pseudo-archaeology, but also those great mysteries of archaeology that serve as inspirations for crackpots: the Iron Pillar of Delhi, the Antikythera mechanism and the like.

It's a shame so much of these mysteries are obscured by ancient astronaut fanatics.
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carpforest
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Nov 17, 2007 11:20 pm
Posts: 224
Location: Australia
PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2008 9:07 am 
 

Interesting indeed. Although the second photograph looks more realistic/believable than the first. Just the bushes, not near the man, but towards the right hand side of the photo, against the wall. Unless it's just me, or the angle. Amazing nonetheless.
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Stillborn_messiah
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2008 4:30 am
Posts: 6
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2008 9:08 am 
 

They've discovered that the ancient Greeks and many other empires like them, including the Egyptians employed cranes. Obviously not the kind we have now, no, their's relied on counter weights and what not. But they do have proof of these HUGE cranes. When I say huge.. I mean it. I'm talking large enough to lift the lintels onto the posts for the Parthenon. That's fucking big. There's really no mystery to a lot of these structures any more.. they can pretty much prove conclusively that they had these cranes.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crane_(machine)#Ancient_Greek_cranes

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Veigard
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2008 8:24 pm
Posts: 12
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2008 1:27 pm 
 

carpforest wrote:
Interesting indeed. Although the second photograph looks more realistic/believable than the first. Just the bushes, not near the man, but towards the right hand side of the photo, against the wall. Unless it's just me, or the angle. Amazing nonetheless.


It's just the angle and the quality of the photograph. There are lots of recent photos showing the site, but unfortunately i can't find one with that particular wall. Here is one of the uncut pieces.

Image

Another site shrouded in conspiracy is the city of Tihuanaco. The city is in present day Bolivia and is of pre-Incan origin. The stonemasonry is baffling, not only because the blocks used were massive but because they were set with unmatched precision without the use of mortar. They actually secured the blocks together with metal pieces hidden from view. This "Tihuanacan" culture as the academics call it was conquered by the Incas and their knowledge absorbed into the Incan empire.

The mystery behind this city is actually quite compelling. There is a large plaza with a monolithic gate at one side. When standing at the other side of the plaza, the sun rises directly through it. There are two other large monoliths on either side of this gate, equally spaced from it, which mark the summer and winter equinoxes. However, the sun does not rise directly where they stand. This was believed to be due to the Earth's axis wobbling slightly. The wobble isn't anything controversial, it is a well documented cycle which has a 23 000 year period. When adjusted for this, it turns out the sun would have risen precisely at the markers around 12 000 years ago.

I really thought this one had lots going for it until i read that the excavations at the site yielded remains of a small village underneath Tihuanaco, dating to no more than 3500 (i think) years back. The Spanish also managed to assrape the place beyond recognition, which hinders us from further investigation.

This short video summarizes things nicely. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G9K3DeRS83A

Another amazing South American site is the fortress of Sacsayhuaman. The architecture is weird because of the irregularity of the pieces used.

Image

Note that the walls were much higher, but the top layers were removed and used by the Spanish to build churches and homes.

EDIT: typos and swapped a pic


Last edited by Veigard on Sun Feb 17, 2008 6:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Morrigan
Crone of War

Joined: Sat Aug 10, 2002 7:27 am
Posts: 9308
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2008 3:51 pm 
 

I love that stuff. When I was a teenager, I was into the ancient astronauts/Atlantean/ancient advanced civilizations theories big time. I read stuff by Von Daniken, Graham Hancock and the likes.

Of course, I was a teenager, and I outgrew all of that silly stuff. I'm a hardcore skeptic nowadays (though I still think those theories would make for kick-ass sci-fi stories). :) But that stuff still really fascinates me, though on another level. Some of my favourites were those you mentioned: Baalbek, Tihuanaco, Sacsayhuaman, as well as the Nazca lines, Palenque, and of course the Great Pyramids.

Shame there aren't any timeless architectural/engineering wonders like those being made nowadays.

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MasticateTheNecro
Metal newbie

Joined: Thu May 24, 2007 9:29 pm
Posts: 262
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2008 8:14 pm 
 

Those pictures look amazing, but look at the guy in the first one's size in relation to the bushes. Has to have been altered.

I think it's possible that the structures were built using simple machines (eg. levers, pulleys etc.) with stones that were naturally shaped with the earth's violent formation. Think how smooth, even and perfect that erosion can make rocks in the ocean and in heavy weather areas. Just a possibility though.

Edit: does anyone have neat pictures of the Nazca Lines? I got some cool ones with Google Images, but nothing too spectacular.
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SoakedInAcid
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Apr 29, 2006 7:03 pm
Posts: 32
PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2008 9:38 pm 
 

Morrigan wrote:
Shame there aren't any timeless architectural/engineering wonders like those being made nowadays.


Well no one can dispute the fact that we could build better and more wonderful structures now. However, the point is that they are useless and why waste time and money building structures of that magnitude unless it is needed?

Utilitarian design is in, fancy design of the aristocracy is out.

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Morrigan
Crone of War

Joined: Sat Aug 10, 2002 7:27 am
Posts: 9308
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2008 10:41 pm 
 

Oh, I am aware of that. I don't have to like it, though. :)

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Bezerko
Vladimir Poopin

Joined: Tue Nov 28, 2006 2:50 am
Posts: 4805
Location: Venestraya
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 2:27 am 
 

Morrigan wrote:
Though I still think those theories would make for kick-ass sci-fi stories.


Just read some Matthew Riley books. ;)

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swineeyedlamb
Boiling in the Hourglass

Joined: Thu Oct 07, 2004 6:49 pm
Posts: 650
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 4:04 pm 
 

I remember doing a segment on enigmatic monuments in grade school, in particular the army of liths on Easter Island. Fairly recently I read that the island's culture and society basically self-immolated in a fervour to carve and erect these things. This mania, nursed in the extremely isolated circumstances of Easter Island, was the indirect cause of temporary human extinction there. Those stone faces, besides being plain-old creepy, also bear witness to some of our weirdest and most self-destructive tendencies. I find this more profound than any fru-fru sci-fi theory every could be.

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