It’s one thing to use a bunch of heavy, petroleum-fueled equipment to make a massive structure – but doing it by hand, the old fashioned way, is truly a feat. And archeologists recently discovered a grand example, in what could be the largest single stone block every created by the human hand. German archeologists recently discovered a 2,000-year-old stone dating back to the Roman Empire in a quarry in Baalbek, Lebanon. At 64 feet long by almost 20 feet wide, the new stone weighs in at a massive 1,650 tons. It was found next to some equally hefty neighbors that were previously discovered; the 1,000-ton Hajjar el-Hibla, or Stone of the Pregnant Woman, and another unnamed stone weighing in at 1,240 tons.
A statement by the German Archeological Institute claims the new stone is “the biggest boulder known from antiquity,” according to Fast Company. And they deciphered the stone’s likely purpose: “The level of smoothness indicates the block was meant to be transported and used without being cut. Massive stone blocks of a 64-foot length were used for the podium of the huge Temple of Jupiter in the sanctuary.”
But for some reason this particular stone never became part of a structure, and the archeologists posit these stones were abandoned due to their quality and how much work it took to transport them. The Hajjar al-Hibla block was likely left because it cracked during transport, but the recent stone still remains partially buried and scientists hope to discover if it was left left behind for the same reasons.