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Israel Underwater Structure

Mysterious Man Made Structure Found in The Sea of Galilee Perplexes Scientists

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A massive man-made structure was found, using a sonar scan, at the bottom of the Sea of Galilee in Israel in 2003 and has been perplexing archaeologists ever since. However, researchers are now putting together proposals and funding requests to permit them access to study the submerged stones.

The cone-shaped structure, which is made up of basalt boulders, is found at a depth of between three and 12 meters beneath the surface, about half a kilometre from the sea's south western shore. It is believed to be between 2,000 and 12,000 years old

Archaeologists have not yet had the opportunity to study the monument because, with a diameter of 70 metres and weighing tens of thousands of tonnes, it is too large to bring to the surface for study.  It has also not been possible to study the structure underwater because this would be a complex process costing hundreds of thousands of dollars.  Underwater excavations are particularly difficult in the Sea of Galilee where visibility is low and any digging could unleash a cloud of sediment and bury what's just been uncovered.

"It's very enigmatic, it's very interesting, but the bottom line is we don't know when it's from, we don't know what it's connected to, we don't know its function," said Dani Nadel, an archaeologist at the University of Haifa. "We only know it is there, it is huge and it is unusual."

Archaeologists are reluctant to guess the structure's purpose based on the lack of information and data, but have said that possibilities include a burial site, a place of worship or even a fish nursery, which were common in the area. 

In an article in the International Journal of Nautical Archaeology published earlier this year, the researchers write it "is indicative of a complex, well-organized society, with planning skills and economic ability."  Let’s hope that they receive the funding they need to further investigate the mysterious structure which could reveal further secrets of ancient life in the Middle East.

By April Holloway

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