We did this?! - Stone of Pregnant Woman (updated 2012-02-04)

photo by Ralph Ellis, wikipedia.org
Hadja el Hibla - This massive 1k-ton stone is situated at Baalbek city in Lebanon. It's size roughly is 20m in length, 4m in width, and 4m in  height. It has been approximated to weigh up to 1,000.12 tons! [1] - think of 10 -13 school buses stacking upon each other! [2]

Legend said that long time ago there was a pregnant woman turned up at Baalbek claiming to know how to move the stone! However, she would not tell of this secret unless people of the village feed her until she gave birth. Hence, the stone derived its name from.

I am sorting all my questions here in order that I think will make it easy for me to do the investigation, or deduction. Or guessing!

  1. What is it?
  2. Why did they do it? What are they for?
  3. How on earth did they do it?
  4. When did they do it?
  5. Who did it?
  6. Why did they (the stones) need to be this size? Can't they achieve the same things with smaller stones?
  7. Why they stop doing it?
  8. Can we (modern) men do it?
  9. Has anyone else ever achieved the same feat?
Finding the answers cannot be done in the order listed above. Instead, they are noted in this blog in the order I found them.

National Park Service photo
Can we (modern) men do it? Yes!
I read everywhere on the net stating that we modern men with latest technology cannot move stones of these sizes. I almost believe this until I found that, in 1999, we did moved a 208-feet tall 4,830-ton lighthouse at Cape Hatteras for over half a mile distance! I was moved in one piece in upright position [3][7].

Photo by Vmenkov
Has anyone else ever achieved the same feat? Almost!
Searching everywhere on the net, they all seem to say, again and again, that these stones are the largest (in weight) that man ever cut and moved. I cannot find any constructions man ever made, new or old, that is bigger than this. The only thing that ever come close are stele from Yangshan quarry in china. There are 3 pieces of stele which have been cut. Their sizes range from [8]:

  • 16,250 tons (stele base), 
  • 8, 799 tons (stele body), and 
  • 6,118 tons (stele head)

Note the sheer sizes! They are not typo mistake! They would have beaten the construction from Baalbek by many times over if only they can move the rocks! According to the history, in 1405, Yongle Emperor ordered these stones to be cut for mausoleum for his late father, Hongwu emperor. They completed the cut process unfortunately they realised that there was (is!) no way to move them and the project was abandon[8].

Hmm, I was wondering why they were so sure that they could move these stones! Could it be that, the did know how to move rocks of these sizes but later after the cutting process had been completed, some conditions had changed that they no longer could do it?!

To be continue...

[1] Stone of Pregnant Woman, wikipedia.org
[2] How much does a school bus weighs, wiki.answers.com
[3] Moving Large Objects, www.catchpenny.org
[4] Baalbek - Lebanon's Sacred Fortress, www.bibliotecapleyades.net, by Andrew Collins
[5] Baalbek - Heliopolis, ancient-wisdom.co.uk
[6] Was Baalbek a Spaceport for Extraterrestrials, kosmo.hubpages.com
[7] Cape Hatteras Light, wikipedia.org
[8] Yangshan Quarry, wikipedia.org

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