In The News: Baalbek
War Comes to the "Landing Place"
The name of an ancient site – Ba’albek in Lebanon – has now been mentioned in dispatches by war correspondents covering the latest flareup in the Middle East. Israeli planes have been dropping bombs there on training and supply encampments of Hezbollah terrorists, in a tit-for-tat for the latter’s missile attacks on Israel. Some of the dispatches refer to the town’s “Roman ruins” - remains of temples that Roman emperors erected in honor of Rome’s gods; but little, if any, mention is made of the place’s earlier and much more significant archaeological remains.
I and those who have been with me to the place several years ago can attest that the “Roman ruins” are indeed imposing remains of three magnificent temples, including the largest temple to Jupiter anywhere in the Roman empire, Rome itself included - as an artist’s reconstruction shows (Fig. 1). But the Romans came there because the place had been revered earlier by the Greeks. Pompey, Rome’s conquering general, offered there sacrifices in 60 B.C. imitating Alexander the Great who paid there homage to Zeus centuries earlier. The Greeks came because the place was deemed a unique sacred site by the Phoenicians and the Babylonians before them; and before all those generals and emperors and kings, Gilgamesh, king of Uruk in ancient Sumer, went there circa 2900 B.C. to obtain immortality from the gods.
The “Landing Place”
Having been the son of the goddess Ninsun and the high priest of Uruk, Gilgamesh was considered not just a demigod but “two thirds divine.” This, he asserted, entitled him to avoid the death of a mortal. Yes, his mother told him - but to attain our longevity you have to go to our planet, Nibiru (where one year equals 3,600 Earth-years). So Gilgamesh journeyed from Sumer (now southern Iraq) to ‘The Landing Place” in the cedar mountains where the rocketships of the gods were lofted.
The Epic of Gilgamesh, a text found inscribed on clay tablets, actually describes how Gilgamesh witnessed a rocketship being launched from the Landing Place. A later Phoenician coin depicted such a rocket standing on a launching pad (Fig. 2).
As this depiction shows, the launch facility was located on a great platform; and indeed, the truly ancient site of Baalbek encompassed a paved stone platform of about five million square feet!
The Colossal Stone Blocks
The most important section of that ancient Landing Place was its northwestern corner, where the remains of the Jupiter temple are located. Its ruins stand atop a platform that rose even higher by rows of perfectly shaped stone blocks weighing some 600 tons each. (Fig. 3); this is a weight that no existing modern equipment can lift. (By comparison, the stone blocks of the Great Pyramid in Giza, Egypt, weigh about 25 tons each).
These are far from being the largest stone blocks there. As described in my latest illustrated book The Earth Chronicles Expeditions, the ever-rising layers of these stone blocks form, in the northwestern corner, a funnel-like stone tower. The western wall of that towerlike structure has been reinforced with rows (“courses”) of stone blocks weighing 900 tons each. On top of them, another higher course is made up of three unique stone blocks weighing 1,100 tons each. Known as the Trilithon, these are the largest cut and shaped construction stone blocks in the world! (Fig. 4).
The enigmas surrounding the site and the colossal stone blocks do not include one puzzle - where were those stone blocks quarried; because at a stone quarry about two miles away from the site, one of those 1,100-ton blocks is still there – its quarrying unfinished.
To show it, and give an idea of its size, I had my group stand shoulder to shoulder at the foot of this stone block – an accomplishment commemorated by the enclosed photograph (Fig. 5).
The quarry is in a valley, a couple of miles from the site of the “ruins.” This means that in antiquity, someone had the capability and technology needed for quarrying, cutting and shaping colossal stone blocks in the quarry – then lifting the stone blocks up and carrying them to the construction site, and there not just let go and drop the stone block, but place them precisely in the designated course. And there they have remained, intact and unshaken in spite of the passage of time and frequent earthquakes – held together and in place without any mortar…
Built Before the Flood
Who was that “someone?” What technology was used for the incredible feat? When and Why was it all done?
The Maronite Christians who for generations deemed themselves custodians of the site (before they were displaced by the Shiite Moslems) told legends of the “giants” who had built the colossal platform. I found the answers in the ancient Sumerian texts, and related them in The Stairway to Heaven and The Wars of Gods and Men.
The great stone platform was indeed the first Landing Place of the Anunnaki gods on Earth, built by them before they established a proper spaceport. It was the only structure that had survived the Flood, and was used by Enki and Enlil as the post-Diluvial headquarters for the reconstruction of the devastated Earth.
It is the only structure on Earth from before the Flood.
© Z. Sltchin 2006