Off the coast of Sicily, researchers have discovered a giant stone monolith submerged in a shallow channel. A report published in Science Direct suggests the man-made object was created by an ancient civilization for a purpose likely akin to that of Stonehenge, which the monolith resembles. Researchers estimate the monument’s age at over 10,000 years, and believe its existence confirms “significant Mesolithic human activity in the Sicilian Channel region.”
The 12-meter-long (39-foot-long) statue was cut from a single, large block. It was found broken in two pieces, and has three holes in it, one of which goes right through the middle. The monument was located in the deep sea off the coast of Sicily in what was once an island called the Pantelleria Vecchia Bank, and archaeologists believe it ended up underwater after a massive flood.
The report’s co-authors—Zvi Ben-Avraham from the Department of Earth Sciences at Tel Aviv University, and Emanuele Lodolo, from the Istituto Nazionale di Oceanografia e di Geofisica Sperimentale (OGS) in Trieste, Italy—conclude this finding is a reminder of how little is known about ancient civilizations in the Mediterranean region.
They marvel at the technical acumen needed to construct such an enormous stone monolith, noting it “…required a cutting, extraction, transportation and installation, which undoubtedly reveals important technical skills and great engineering. The belief that our ancestors lacked the knowledge, skill and technology to exploit marine resources or make sea crossings, must be progressively abandoned.”
Images via Emanuele Lodolo