People around the world this weekend began discussing a study that was published in the “Journal of Archaeological Science” in early July about scientists discovering an almost 40-foot monolith that weights approximately 15 tons in the Sicilian Channel. The monolith is believed to have likely served a functional purpose at the time, such as an above-water anchoring system for fishing boats. It’s important because it was crafted by Mesolithic humans between 9,150 and 9,550 years ago. Many scientists have believed that stone-age humans didn’t travel long distances to craft these types of structures and then transport and erect them in different locations as was seen with Stonehenge. For comparison purposes, Stonehenge is approximately 5,000 years old.
— Ocean Conservancy (@OurOcean) August 8, 2015
“This discovery provides evidence for a significant Mesolithic human activity in the Sicilian Channel region,” the research paper reads.
“The discovery of the submerged site in the Sicilian Channel may significantly expand our knowledge of the earliest civilisations in the Mediterranean basin and our views on technological innovation and development achieved by the Mesolithic inhabitants.”
The monolith currently rests approximately 131-feet under water in two large pieces. The scientists didn’t remove it. Instead, they studied it by using underwater camera gear and measuring equipment. They believe that the monolith is man-made because the stones feature three holes that are approximately the same shape and size. The land where it was found used to be an island that became covered in water after sea water levels increased near the end of the last Ice Age.