The Ancients
 Temple of Jupiter Baal
Baalbek, Lebanon

Stone of the Pregnant Woman

The Stone of the Pregnant Woman (Arabic: Hadjar el Hibla‎) or Stone of the South is a Roman monolith in Baalbek (ancient Heliopolis), Lebanon. Together with another ancient stone block nearby, it is among the largest monoliths ever quarried. The two building blocks were intended for the close-by Roman temple complex − possibly as an addition to the so-called trilith − which was characterized by a monolithic gigantism unparalleled in antiquity.


The granite block still lies in the ancient quarry at a distance of 900 m from the Heliopolis temple complex. In 1996, a geodetic team of the Austrian city of Linz conducted topographical measurements at the site which aimed at establishing the exact dimensions of the two monoliths and their possible use in the construction of the gigantic Jupiter temple. According to their calculations, the block weighs 1,000.12 tons, thus practically confirming older estimations such as that of Jean-Pierre Adam.

The rectangular granite block is:

20.31–20.76 m long
4 m wide at the base
4.14–5.29 m wide at the top
4.21–4.32 m high
Has an estimated density of 2.6–2.8 g/cm³

Stone of the Pregnant Woman on an early 20th-century lantern slide

Second monolith

Another, recently discovered Roman monolith of 1,242 ton
A second ancient monolith was discovered in the same quarry in the 1990s. With its weight estimated at 1,242t, it even surpasses the dimension of the Stone of the Pregnant Woman.

The dimensions of the rectangular granite block, assuming that its shape is consistent in its still-buried parts, are:

19.5–20.5m long
4.34–4.56m wide
4.5m high
Has an estimated density of 2.6–2.8 g/cm³

Another, recently discovered Roman monolith of 1,242 t


There are multiple stories behind the name. One says the monolith is named after a pregnant woman who tricked the naive people of Baalbek into believing that she knew how to move the giant stone, if only they would feed her until she gave birth. Others say the name comes from the legends that pregnant jinn were assigned the task of cutting and moving the stone. While others say that the name reflects the belief that a woman who touches the stone will experience an increase in fertility.

Third monolith

A third ancient monolith was discovered in the same quarry in 2014 by the Deutsches Archäologisches Institut. Its weight is estimated at around 1650t, making it the largest stone ever carved by human hands.[11]

It measures:
19.6 m long
6 m wide
at least 5.5m high (it is still partly buried)
  • Adam, Jean Pierre; Anthony Mathews (1999). Roman Building: Materials and Techniques. Routledge. p. 35. ISBN 978-0415208666.
  • Adam, Jean-Pierre (1977), "À propos du trilithon de Baalbek: Le transport et la mise en oeuvre des mégalithes", Syria (in French) 54 (1/2): 31–63, doi:10.3406/syria.1977.6623
  • "Archaeologists Discover The World's Largest Ancient Stone Block". io9. Retrieved 2014-11-29.
  • Doyle, Paul (2012-03-01). Lebanon. Bradt Travel Guides. pp. 213–. ISBN 9781841623702. Retrieved 12 March 2013.
  • Hanauer, James Edward (1907). "Folk-lore of the Holy Land: Moslem, Christian and Jewish". Duckworth & Company. pp. 74–. Retrieved 12 March 2013.
  • Ruprechtsberger, Erwin M. (1999), "Vom Steinbruch zum Jupitertempel von Heliopolis/Baalbek (Libanon)" [From the quarry to the Jupiter temple of Heliopolis/Baalbek (Lebanon)], Linzer Archäologische Forschungen (in German) 30: 7–56

Archaeologists Discover The World's Largest Ancient Stone Block

See that absurdly massive stone block? Yeah, that's not the one we're talking about. Look over to the right. German archaeologists working at the Baalbek site in Lebanon have uncovered the largest known ancient block....

A few months ago, a team from the German Archaeological Institute conducted excavations at the quarry, and to their amazement they found an ever bigger stone just off to the side and underneath it. It measures 19.6 meters (64 feet) in length, 6 meters (19.6 feet) wide, and is at least 5.5 meters (18 feet) high. Its weight is estimated at a daunting 1,650 tons (that's 3,300,000 pounds, or 1,496,850 kg). Future excavations will confirm its precise dimensions.

Archaeologists Discover The World's Largest Ancient Stone Block

Baalbek - A Colossal Enigma
by Gian J. Quasara ~ From Biblioteca Pleyades

This article introduces and discusses new discoveries made in the colossal ruins at Baalbek, Lebanon, and the possibility they are evidence of a past super-civilization or, at least, technically advanced civilization of “prehistory.”


Baalbek is the name of an archeological site in Lebanon. In Roman times it was known as Heliopolis or City of the Sun. An example of how ancient is the site can be found in that its holiest area (in pagan times) was the Temple of Baal-Jupiter — a hybrid between the ancient Canaanite god Baal (lord) and the Roman Jupiter.
Moreover, this temple was built on a “tel” or ruin mound, indicating a place that had long been held sacred, though what had caused this area to be significant or “sacred” is unknown.

A panorama of ancient Baalbek, seen from a nearby hill.
The ruins are the Roman temples of Bacchus (foreground) and Baal-Jupiter.

How old are the ruins?

Well, most date from Roman times. They, however, followed the pattern of building upon the “sacred” areas of cultures before them. This is also evident at Palmyra where the temple of Baal is also built upon a tel or ruin mound. The original Canaanite temples could be 2,000 years older than the Roman remains left today.

The question is, had the Canaanites done what the Romans did? In other words, did they build upon the site as well? If so, what caused the site to be considered sacred to them?

The oldest part of the ruins at Baalbek fit absolutely no known culture, and were originally employed for some mysterious purpose.

Back of the temple of Baal-Jupiter. Smaller stones of Roman date are haphazardly placed on top to form a medieval fortress. At the bottom of the picture, between the 2 trees, a man contemplates their size. Can you see how small he is compared?
Questions constantly crop up concerning these blocks. Baalbek may become a focal point for the dichotomy being uncovered throughout the world today between the prehistoric past we assume existed and our earliest cultures of history.

The massive and elegant Roman stonework and columns pale by comparison to the megaliths they were built upon. The temple very visibly incorporates into its foundation, stones of some 1,500 tons. They are some 68 x 14 x 14 feet! They are the largest worked stones on earth! It is a mystery how such stones could have been moved into place, even according to our science and engineering knowledge of today.
It is also a fact the Romans did not use this type of stonework.

One stone left in the quarry, undressed yet. They are great, perfect rectangles.
This is a picture of the largest worked stone on earth. Some have estimated it to be 2,000 tons.
To further increase their mysterious origin and original use, these megaliths are not “foundation stones” as they are always declared. They represent the top course of stones of the original edifice, whatever that may have been. Whatever its purpose, it was essential that the greatest stones had to be on top, not on the bottom. The whole edifice is inverted in concept, fact and layout.
Below them at least 3 tiers of stones can be found, much smaller though still monumental in size.

Another example that they are separate to the Roman temple, is that while the Romans built the back of their temple wall flush with 3 of these stones, on one of the sides of the temple of Jupiter the perimeter clearly falls short of the width of the original megalithic structure, allowing a tier of megaliths to protrude obtrusively from the temple foundation— incongruous if they were simply foundation stones for the Roman temple.
But it seems the Romans could not extend the building far enough to cover the layout of megaliths.

What the original edifice must have looked like—a massive platform
Another mystery is found in the stone wall on the far or backside of the temple, that side that is the most famous in pictures because it shows the remarkable proportion of the megaliths in contrast to other stones around them.

The great stones continue on this side as well, though their substructures are still buried. The Roman temple falls far short of these blocks, another indication they are not designed for the temple but predate it considerably.
This wall is made up of many ill-fitted stones, many of them reused from the ruined Roman temple by the Arabs, Crusaders, and Turks when the ruins were used as a fort. Some pieces of the Roman entablature can be seen, as well as slits cut into the rock for firing positions in the wall.

Because all these stones are piled one upon the other, it is clear to see an evolution of stone working. This reveals some of the stones piled upon the megaliths to be even older than Roman. These are also huge stones. Yet despite their size, they are still dwarfed by the megalithic blocks.

Extraordinary picture. This shows the famous backside of the temple. The stones of the ruined Roman temple were piled up to form a wall. There is even a column base. But see the huge stones next to the break in the wall.
They are as big as the Bimini stones and cut flush with the other, rather than neat squares.
This architecture, “Cyclopean,” is the oldest we know of, yet it appears sloppy and small compared to the great megaliths below them.

These cyclopean stones are certainly not Roman. The square cut Roman stones are heaped on top of them by the Arabs or Crusaders, whoever turned the ruins into a medieval fortress. Look at how small the two men are compared to the cyclopean stonework, let alone the megaliths upon which they are built.

The Funerary Temple of Kafre at Giza, 4th dynasty (about 2500 BC). Similar to the stonework seen above, noteworthy for economical cutting and fitting of imprecise angles in the blocks, unlike the precision seen in great megaliths here.

Left, the excavated walls of Kafre’s (Chefren) temple. It stands in the shadow of no less than the 2nd great pyramid at Giza, Egypt. Even this very ancient monumental wall seems later than the megaliths at Baalbek. They match some of the unascribed stones built thereon, however, possibly by later peoples or early Canaanites.
Their style is identical to the earliest cultures of monumental stone we know of like the Egyptian and the Pre-Incan Peru cultures, like those on Malta and, frankly, like those being encountered on the Bahamas Banks within the Triangle.

Excavating deeper, the other great mystery was found. Perfectly cut, though smaller, stones were found. The megaliths were not designed as the foundation of the original building, but were meant to be the top.

Why? What for?
The stones of the Roman temple can be seen built behind and on top of them.
This evolution in stonework is remarkable. From the small Roman and Turkish blocks, we go further down to monumental blocks identical with our earliest cultures. Yet lower than this, we come not to primitive mud bricks or shanty-hut foundations, but to the greatest stones worked by man.
They are not clumsy artifacts, crude and compromised cuts like Stonehenge. They are perfectly fitted 1,500 ton stones forming a foundation not even a huge Roman temple could encompass.
Our own science and engineering today cannot explain them, let alone what their function was. It would seem some unknown culture could move these great stones, place them on top of others, in perfect fit and alignment, before the dawn of our most ancient cultures.
What caused them to pass away without leaving a clue as to who they were and to what purpose they built such a stupefying platform?

SOURCE: Biblioteca Pleyades
Baalbek - Lebanon's Sacred Fortress
by Andrew Collins ~ From Biblioteca Pleyades
New Dawn Magazine No. 43 July-August 1997
from NewDawnMagazine Website Spanish version

In the recent past the tranquility of the Beqa’a Valley, that runs north-south between the Lebanon and Ante-Lebanon mountain ranges, has been regularly shattered by the screeching noise of Israeli jet fighters.
Their targets are usually the Hizbullah training camps, mostly for reconnaissance purposes, but occasionally to drop bombs on the local inhabitants. It is a sign of the times in the troubled Middle East.

Yet the Beqa’a Valley is also famous for quite another reason. Elevated above the lazy town of Baalbek is one of architecture’s greatest achievements. I refer to the almighty Temple of Jupiter, situated besides two smaller temples, one dedicated to Venus, the goddess of love, and the other dedicated to Bacchus, the god of fertility and good cheer (although some argue this temple was dedicated to Mercury, the winged god of communication).

Today these wonders of the classical world remain as impressive ruins scattered across a wide area, but more remarkable still is the gigantic stone podiums within which these structures stand. An outer podium wall, popularly known as the ’Great Platform’, is seen by scholars as contemporary to the Roman temples.
Yet incorporated into one of its courses are the three largest building blocks ever used in a man-made structure. Each one weighs an estimated 1000 tonnes a piece.(1)
They sit side-by-side on the fifth level of a truly cyclopean wall located beyond the western limits of the Temple of Jupiter.

Even more extraordinary is the fact that in a limestone quarry about one quarter of a mile away from the Baalbek complex is an even larger building block. Known as Hajar el Gouble, the Stone of the South, or the Hajar el Hibla, the Stone of the Pregnant Woman, it weighs an estimated 1200 tonnes.(2)
It lays at a raised angle - the lowest part of its base still attached to the living rock - cut and ready to be broken free and transported to its presumed destination next to the Trilithon, the name given to the three great stones in ancient times.

The enigma is this - although the high-tech, computer programmed jet fighters that scream through the Beqa’a Valley possess laser-guided missiles that can precision bomb to within three feet of their designated target, there is not a crane today that can even think of lifting a 1000-tonne weight, never mind a 1200-tonne weight like the stone block left in the quarry.
Confounding the mystery even further is how the builders of the Trilithon managed to position these stones side by side with such precision that, according to some commentators not even a needle can be inserted between them.(3)

So who were the supermen behind this breath-taking project? Surely the world is aware of their origins and history. Who were these people?

Unfortunately, however, nobody knows their names. Nowhere in extant Roman records does it mention anything at all about the architects and engineers involved in the construction of the Great Platform.
No contemporary Roman historian or scholar commentates on how it was constructed, and there are no tales that preserve the means by which the Roman builders achieved such marvelous feats of engineering.
Why? Why the silence?
Surely someone, somewhere, must know what happened.

And herein the problems begin, for the local inhabitants of the Beqa’a Valley - who consist in the main of Arab Muslims, Maronite Christians and Orthodox Christians - do preserve legends about the origins of the Great Platform, but they do not involve the Romans.

They say that Baalbek’s first city was built before the Great Flood by Cain, the son of Adam, whom God banished to the ’land of Nod’ that lay ’east of Eden’ for murdering his good brother Abel, and he called it after his son Enoch.(4) The citadel, they say, fell into ruins at the time of the deluge and was much later re-built by a race of giants under the command of Nimrod, the ’mighty hunter’ and ’king of Shinar’ of the Book of Genesis.(5)

Who do we believe - the academics who are of the opinion that the Great Platform was constructed by the Romans, or the local folktales which ascribe Baalbek’s cyclopean masonry to a much earlier age?

And if we are to accept the latter explanation, then who exactly were these ’giants’, gigantes or Titans of Greek tradition?

Furthermore, why accredit Cain, Adam’s outcast son, as the builder of Baalbek’s first city?

In an attempt to answer some of these questions it will be necessary to review the known history of Baalbek and to examine more closely the stones of the Trilithon in relationship to the rest of the ruins we see today.
It will also be necessary to look at the mythologies, not only of the earliest peoples of Lebanon, but also the Hellenic Greeks.
Only by doing this will a much clearer picture begin to emerge.

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