PaleoBabble readers know that ancient astronaut theorists suffer from a fixation on megalithic construction. The “impossibility” of moving stones of great size and tremendous weight appears to them as proof of alien assistance. This argument of course is simply reduced to “since I can’t figure out how it was done, it must have been aliens.” Rather than focus on the absurdity of this logic, I’ve tried to introduce readers to peer-reviewed scholarship on ancient construction and engineering.
Egypt’s pyramids have received a lot of attention here in that regard. I want to turn now to Baalbek, specifically the famous trilithon (the three stones at the base of the Roman temple at the site).
There isn’t much written on this that’s available to the non-specialist, and most of what is available isn’t in English. At the risk of directing readers to a source that won’t be much use since it’s in French, I still think it’s useful to demonstrate that scholars have put serious thought into the trilithon, and have come up with workable solutions that have been successful in analogous situations in this case, something even bigger than the trilithon of Baalbek – yes, ancient alien enthusiasts, the trilithon is NOT the largest object moved without modern machines; keep reading.
A very good and lengthy scholarly journal article in French about moving the trilithon by ancient mechanical means is available on the web: Jean-Pierre Adam, “A propos du trilithon de Baalbek. Le transport et la mise en oeuvre des megaliths,” Syria 54:1-2 1977: 31-63 English translation: “Concerning the trilithon of Baalbek: Transportation and the Implementation of the Megaliths”. Two caveats on the article: 1 It’s very technical. It’s filled with mathematical discussion since its author is quite familiar with analyzing such problems via applied physics; 2 my French stinks. As such, I converted the article to text and use