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Sea of Galilee hides a stone structure of prehistoric nature

10 April 2013

This story has already featured on Eric's email thread so we are a bit late coming to the party. This version can be found at www.livescience.com/28567-ancient-structure-under-sea-of-galilee.html … and describes the structure as cone like in shape, made from unhewn stones and cobbles. It is some 10m in height and has a diameter of roughly 70m. This is much larger than Stonehenge, but then again, Stonehenge is not particular big as far as the circle is concerned. The prevailing explanation, for the moment, is that it may date from the third millennium BC where there is other evidences of megalithic stone structures in the same general region. The best guess is that it is a cairn, with stones piled on top of each other until a great height was achieved, and circumference. At Kherbat Betaila, 30km away to the NE there is a monument composed of three concentric stone circles (so, were they looking at the same kind of thing as the people of Stonehenge or the great cairn like tombs of the Boyne Valley and elsewhere?).

Not too far distant was Khirbet Kerak, a site that became famous for the style of the pottery found there which had a distribution as far south as Egypt but is thought to have origins in eastern Anatolia and the Transcaucasus zone. The pottery appears in Syria-Palestine roughly around 2600BC, and represents a major migration of people from the north, from the region later associated with Hittites, Armenians, Hurrians, Urartu etc. Eric didn't pick up on this point and neither did Live Science. They do say that Khirbet Kerak was a fortified town and the biggest in the local area, some 74 acres in extent. The first volume of the Cambridge Ancient History has quite a lot on Khirbet Kerak, which was occupied throughout the Early Bronze Age. Khirbet Kerak ware, on the other hand, appears at the end of EBII and was abundant in the early part of EBIII across much of the Levant. See for example http://archaeology.tau.ac.il/arch_files/projects/betyerah/kkw.html

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