A plethora of controversial issues have surrounded technology and progress in prehistory. Also, most of the major technological and scientific implementations around us are from more recent times. There were clear technological achievements in antiquities like aqueducts, pyramids, and other marvelous architectures, and others less known, as in medicine, metallurgy and others.
There are infinite number of monuments and ruins that testify the artistic skills of man. They are evidences of a technically advanced prehistoric civilization. Their grandiose and magnificence of giant blocks of stone were the attention grabbing objects for the archaeologists as well as the scientific community.
These blocks of stone were examined, and it came as a surprise to the official history, which determined that the civilization of that period was incapable of grandiose deeds, such as in constructions.
One of these ruins is the megalithic platform of Baalbek from the Paleolithic or Neolithic period. Baalbe, (Al Biqa, or El Bika, or El Beqa, or El Bukaa, or El Bekaa) in the valley of Bekaa has 3 walls containing gigantic blocks. The three blocks are also known as Trilithon.
A mystery of ruins, inexplicable and indecipherable one, deserves to be mentioned, because perhaps all the records have been lost. Further discussing here, let’s jump on some of the interesting facts about Baalbek Stone or megalith.
1 Construction Style & Techniques
The Baalbek stones and the other blocks were cut into perfect rectangles and placed mill metrically in their proper place. They used no cement or mortar, or type of metal staples – used by the Roman Empire to unite these huge blocks.
The major attention of archaeologists was on the construction technique. It does not follow the traditional pattern, because the larger blocks are seated on the smaller ones.
The Romans added the smaller stones on the immense blocks. Underneath these are the smaller blocks, when building a large terrace. This pattern is characterized as inverted construction.
In analyzing the other Roman constructions, the experts concluded that the Romans were already experienced in the techniques of gigantic constructions, and in all of them the traditional construction style was used: mortar use, metal staples, etc.
2 The Mystery Surrounding Construction
The mystery of the construction of the great platform goes further. If the Romans had built it, surely, they would have proudly written down everything that was related. They were accustomed to documenting the whole sequence of minor occurrences. They certainly would not have failed to document this achievement.
On the other hand, the platform was never finished, while the temples were all completed. This abandonment is incomprehensible. It does not combine such magnificent temples to have been built on an unfinished platform.
Also, for some unknown reason, the Romans built this most wonderful and unique temple complex on the grand platform in Baalbek.
Archaeologists wonder about the motive, for at that time Baalbek had less of religious, political, or commercial importance. Not as great as to deserve such a sumptuous temple, which was never built anywhere else in the empire, even in Rome.
It is unbelievable that if Baalbek was not influential, why was the heart of the old Coele-Syria disputed by the Seleucid and Ptolemaic kings. The Romans believed that it was the most important oracle, so when Emperor Julius Caesar, Gaius Julius Caesar – 100 BC to 44 BC, conquered Baalbek in the 15th century BC. He made it a special and prominent colony in the Roman period, and called it Cologne Julia Augusta Felix Heliopolitana, name of her daughter.
The emperor Trajan when consulting in the temple would come alive from the war against Parthia, obtained in return a branch of grapevine in pieces: he died in Cilicia of southern Anatolia.
3 Historical Studies Of Baalbek
The studies of the large platform indicate the possibility of an airport for interplanetary aircraft, propelled by nuclear power. The huge blocks would have served as protection from the radiation emitted at the time of takeoff.
On one side of the wall, the construction seemed to have been abandoned. On the same side immense blocks were not seated with the strict caprice. One of these blocks was cracked and the junction with the imperfect next block. It seemed that there was a rush at the end of the platform, or that they were rebuilding it.
The region is prone to violent earthquakes, strong storms, lack of rain (drought), and other meteorological phenomena.
The Christian emperors lent their hands in the destruction of the temple, using a part of the material for the construction of its basilica in the place.
4 The Byzantine Fire
Callinicus/Kallinikos was an architect/engineer, born in Syria. He brought from Baalbek a liquid, known as the Byzantine fire. The liquid was delivered to the Byzantine emperor, and it became the secret weapon of that empire. It was transmitted only to the successors and the elite class of the empire.
Byzantine fire emitted jets of liquid through a pipe, or siphon, and sounded like the modern flamethrower. The flames were almost impossible to extinguish even in water, because they also spread in the water.
This liquid was also installed on the walls of Constantinople. Documents tell that the Byzantine emperors used it in their wars only twice. The investigators today, believe that the empire had difficulty to control the liquid, because at the moment of the use the Byzantine ships also caught fire. Its composition is unknown but researchers believe it to be a nuclear device.
Subsequently, the Arabs also developed a liquid that had a devastating effect. It was heavily used during the invasion of the Crusades.
5 The Gods In Baalbek
Baalbek was one of the Phoenician city-states. The residents worshiped their god Baal, the Lord/God of Heaven and Earth, and were also worshiped throughout the archaic Middle East.
Baal was revered as a divine title and honor and was appointed in all: Baal of Tire; Baal of Heaven, and so on; Ashteroth or Astarte, her consort, was the goddess of fertility and life; Aliyan was the God of spring and renewal.
The Phoenicians worshiped this triad of gods, representing the relationship of a family: mother, father and son. They believed in rejuvenation and resurrection. The bull, ox, eagle and whip was their idol. Baalbek is the oldest city in the world.
Cain (the son of Adam) would have built the great platform like a fortress in a time of great distress. He called the place of Enoch on the name of his son, and settled it with giants, who were punished with the flood, and punished them for their iniquity;
After the flood, Nimrod sent giants to build the fortress of Baalbek, in honor of the god Baal, god of the Moabites;
Adam and Eve, driven from paradise, lived in Baalbek and filled it with the cedar trees. Adam’s grave would be near the village of Zebdami; Noah and Ham are buried in the vicinity of Baalbek;
In the epic of Gilgamesh , legendary king of Uruk, in 4,500 BC, speaks about the mountains of the forest of cedar trees, where is the abode of the gods. The epic of Gilgamesh is the oldest book in the world.
6 The Baalbeck International Festival
In 1922, a group of Lebanese and French, inspired by the environment of Baalbek, presented/displayed a recital of poetry. A few months later after improvising artificial lighting, they presented “Astarte”. It was written in verses.
In 1944, The National Association for the Preservation and Development of the Lebanese Heritage presented “The Persians” by the playwright and poet Aeschylus.
Ten years down, theater lovers staged a series of plays, and that’s how The Baalbeck International Festival was born.
Since then, renowned artists such as Company Second – Buena Vista Social Club – Jean Cocteau, Rudolf Nureyev with the Royal Ballet, Maurice Bejart’s Ballet, the Paul Taylor Dance Company, the Bolshoi Ballet, the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestraa, Gilberto Gil, and other celebrities have performed on the large terrace of Baalbek. The annual festival takes place at night and ends with a light show, beautifying the ruins of Baalbek.