A stone’s throw from the Jordan River is a conical mound of stones from side to side in the Sea of Galilee (Lake Kinneret). Israeli scientists puzzle over how an ancient stone structure twice the diameter of Stonehenge ended up in the Sea of Galilee.
Dating the Mound
Yitzhak Paz of the Antiquities Authority and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and Shmuel Marco, a geophysicist from Tel Aviv University estimate the mysterious structure, estimated to be from the Bronze Age about 6,000 years old, has yet to be thoroughly investigated. Others date it from the third century BCE. The exact age of the structure has been difficult to pinpoint, but calculations based on the six to ten feet (two to three meters) of sand that have accumulated over the bottom of the base — sand accumulates an average of one to four millimeters per year — as well as comparisons to other structures in the region, put the estimate anywhere between 2,000 and 12,000 years old.
The structure is comprised of basalt rocks, arranged in the shape of a cone. It measures 230 feet (70 meters) at the base of the structure, is 32 feet (10 meters) tall, and weighs an estimated 60,000 tons. The mound is covered with debris 2-3 meters thick. It is about eight or nine meters below the water’s surface, which brings it to nearly 220 meters below the level of the Mediterranean Sea. It is twice the size of the ancient stone circle at Stonehenge in England.
Today the mound is a convenient rest stop for summer birds, but some Christian speculators think it could have provided the platform for Jesus’ miracle of walking on water.
Scientists first made the discovery by accident in 2003 using sonar to survey the bottom of the lake but published their findings only recently. Israeli researchers led by Prof. Shmulik Marco from Tel Aviv University, who recently reported this discovery in the Journal of Nautical Archaeology, uncovered a third-century BCE mound of stones out in the Sea of Galilee (Lake Kinneret to Israelis).
Prof. Shmuel [Shmulik] Marco, Head of the Porter School of the Environment and Earth Sciences, Tel Aviv University, believes the stones were a monument built to protect human remains, most likely constructed on land and pushed out to sea by an earthquake.
For those of you who would like to know more about Prof. Marco, we have added a YouTube movie of Prof. Marco’s presentation on “Lessons from the longest earthquake record in the world”. [Begin at minute 1.41]