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The 1650-tonne stone block was discovered next to the well-known Stone of the Pregnant Woman (pictured on the left) in Baalbek, Lebanon.
The 1650-tonne stone block was discovered next to the well-known Stone of the Pregnant Woman (pictured on the left) in Baalbek, Lebanon.

Archaeologists uncover world’s largest quarried stone

Archaeologists excavating a quarry dating back to Roman times have uncovered what they believe to be the largest stone monolith ever discovered from antiquity.

The stone was found by a team from the German Archaeological Institute (GAI) in a quarry in Baalbek, Lebanon, a city that was known as Heliopolis during the Hellenistic period.

The team measured it as being 19.6m long, 6m wide and at least 5.5m high, and estimated its weight at about 1650 tonnes. It was noted that another excavation campaign would need to be undertaken in order to fully excavate the newly discovered stone and determine its actual height.

The mammoth block was found lying next to another well known giant monolith – the “Hajjar al-Hibla” or “Stone of the Pregnant Woman”, which is about 20m long and 4m in both height and width. It was said that these stones were once quarried for use in the podium of the Temple of Jupiter, which is also located in Baalbek.

Archaeologists have speculated that the more extensively studied Hajjar al-Hibla was likely discarded due to the inferior stone quality in one corner, which might have resulted in the development of natural cracks if the stone were to be transported from the quarry.

The GAI team has now begun investigations into why the larger stone was abandoned in the quarry and how it might have been transported in ancient times.











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Tuesday, 22 October, 2019 7:16am
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