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BAALBEK: The Romans really did build it!

I'm continuing seeing people claim that Baalbek couldn't be Roman. I've saved a couple of old posts on this, which I include here:
From: (Frank Doernenburg)
Newsgroups: sci.archaeology
Message-ID: <>
References: <>
Organization: MAUS DO2 - Die freundliche MAUS im Westen Dortmunds
Subject: Re: 200 ton Blocks
Date: Fri, 13 Sep 96 22:42:00 +0200


I don't know what your sources are, but they are crap. This time, your Baalbek-claims.

First: The three blocks used weight about 800 tons each, the heavy, unmoved block weights about 1200 tons.

Second: The quarry for the blocks lies higher then the temple, about 15 meters. Distance to the platform: about 600 meters, but to get round a ditch the way had to be about 1100 meters long.

Third: A German expedition dug 1904/1905 through to the foundations of the temple. The temple platform is through and through of Roman origin. They found typical roman masonery, roman trash and so on, down to the bedrock. Nothing un-Roman was found! Btw: The temple platform was not built from massive stone, but typically roman honeycombed. Only the outer shell looks like a massive building.

Fourth: The trash you can read about the temple comes mostly from a book from 1864 ("Voyage autour de la mer morte" by Felicien ce Saulcy) and an article from a professor Modeste Agrest, who based his story on a book "published in Paris in 1898" - long befor any serious dig was done. These sources were used by authors like Daeniken and Sitchin. The first real investigation from 1904/1905, published 1921 (Wiegand, Ballbek, 3 bde, 1921-1925), is "forgotten" by these guys.

Read some real literature about the things you are phantasizing about.


And another article
(edited) says:

The stones in Baalbek are not as heavy as claimed by many authors. The three actually moved weigh just under 800 tons each, and only the not-moved block in the quarry weighs about 1000 tons.

The stones were transported over a path only 600 meters length and about 15 meters *downhill*. The quarry is 1160 meters high, and the temple 145 meters. So it was easy to keep the stones on an even level to their final resting place and it was uneccesary to lift them about 7 meters as some authors claim.

As you might know, Rome is the city with the most obelisks outside of egypt. They stole the things by the dozen and took them home. The heaviest known obelisk weighs 510 tons, and it was transported some 1000's of *kilometers*. This transport was documented by the roman author Marcellinus Comes. The romans even left detailed paintings and reliefs about the ways to move such things : as on the bottom of the Theodosius-obelisk in Istanbul.

They used "Roman-patented" winches, in German called "Göpelwinden" which work with long lever ways. To move a 900 ton stone, they needed only 700 men. The transport was slow, about 30 meters a day, because they had to dismantle and rebuild the winches every few meters, to pull the obelisk with maximum torque. But in Baalbek, where they moved several blocks, maybe they built an alley of winches, where they passed the block from winch to winch.

But its irrelevant, because they needed only three weeks per block, and that's OK. Oh by the way, the Romans worked a few hundred years on the temple, until the project was finally canceled.


And a more recent post:

Subject: Re: Stone of Baalbek
From: (Frank Dörnenburg)
Newsgroups: sci.archaeology
Date: Mon, 09 Nov 1998 23:16:04 GMT
Dear ...
This is no flame but a rational post to explain some things to you :-)

It would be nice if you would read just some of the basic stuff about antique transporting techniques before arguing about "I don't know how to do it, and therefore anciens certainly didn't know it". From Roman times, and the trilithon was built in Roman times, we have full documentations about the methods they used. For example, the transport of a 900 t block at the time of Thedosius (compareable to the Bal Bekaa blocks) was accomplished with 12 winches manned with 24 men each - or only 264 men!!!
The romans developed a system of continous winch movement, called in German a "Göpelwinde". With this system, winches are placed on poles dugged into the ground besides the transport way. In the example listed above 2 parallel rows with 6 winches on each side, between them the weight was moved. Each winch had a distance of about 5 m to the next. All 6 winches on each side had a different repe angle to the weight to pull. The lower, the smaller the transport force afflicted to the block. When the angle ot the two winches most behind got unpracticable, the winches were removed from the pole and moved to the frontmost position and the ropes got new connected. And so on. The blocks were transported on sleds. The transport of the Byzanz-Obelisk eg. took about 2 weeks for 3 kilometers from waterfront to 300 m height. The Trilithon-blocks were transported only 600 meters to a lower position!!
When the work was finished, the poles were pulled out and the holes filled.

Next point: How were the blocks in Bal Bekaa lifted? Answer: They werent lifted. The quarry was slightly higher than the platform of the forum, so the Romans only had to fill a small trench with rubble to bull the blocks horizontally to their places.

Next point: Why do I write Bal Bekaa instead of Baalbek? Because this is the original name of the settlement after roman times: Bal Bekaa means "Valley of the Bekaa" and has nothing to do with the old god Baal (you notice the similarity between "Valley of Bekaa" and the famous "Bekaa-plateau" in Lebanon??? Yeah, right, they both mean the same location.) . "Bal Bekaa" was the official name up to the 19th century, and the French use this writing (or the shortened form Bal Bek) until today.
In fact, the whole settlement is of Roman origin, first mentioned in about 20 AD as "Colonia Iulia Felix Helipolitania", named not after the Greek sun god Helios (as Sitchin proposes), but after a local Roman hero, Iuppiter Heliopolitanus. The city lay in the center of several trade routes and therefore flourished after it had to be abandoned because of the onrush of the Arabs.

Next: Why is it no ancient spaceship landing platform? Because of its construction. Its a typical Roman honeycomb-brick-construction. Underneath the forum is a labyrinth of brick walls and chambers, filled to support the weight with shards and other compact trash. All of roman origin. Only beneath the temples on top of the forum are fundaments to the bedrock to support their weight. And in typical roman fashoin, to conceal the flimsy inner construction an outer wall of monoliths between 50 and 800 tons each was placed around the construction so that it lookes massive. But this is only an outer appearance, the whole construction is so unstable, that any decent space ferry would simply break through the ceiling and land in a heap of roman shards.

All these things are known since the publishing of the Wiegand- Baalbek-report between 1921-1925. Z. Sitchin (from where you as I believe you got the "facts") is or was in posession of these reports (because he uses pictures from these books, without mentioning their origins). He publishes the pictures, but doesn't mention the other facts published in the three volumes - so I think I can say, he is a fraud. Once I believed in these people, too. Because I thought "When they publish such things they must be true, because nobody can publish lies as facts". Silly me. When you care to take a look at my home page, you can find some of these silly old believes right there. And I only can say: Think before you flame against "schoolbook science". There is a reason because we have to go to school ;-)

Literature: Wiegand, TH; Baalbek 1-3; Berlin/Leipzig 1921-1925 (the original digging report)
Bruns, G. "Der Obelisk und seine Basis auf dem Hippodrom zu Konstantinopel", Istanbuler Forschungen Bd. 7

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