We’re so caught up in present politics that a new and mysterious message from ancient governments of the past, might be telling us something. A new underground Stonehenge-like arrangement of rocks has been found in Israel – the first for the Middle East. It is believed to be more than 4,000 years old. Older than the Bible. The large dolman or rock found above is decorated with ancient rock art.
The large table-like stone structure was found as part of a field of dolmens, about 400 of them, adjacent to Kibbutz Shamir in the Upper Galilee. What makes this dolmen so unique is its huge dimensions, the structure surrounding it and most importantly the artistic decorations engraved in its ceiling.
Uri Berger, an archaeologist with the Israel Antiquities Authority said the engraved shapes depict a straight line going to the center of an arc. About fifteen such engravings were documented on the ceiling of the dolmen, spread out in a kind of arc along the ceiling. No parallels exist for these shapes in the engraved rock drawings of the Middle East, and their significance remains a mystery, he reported.
The panel depicting the art was scanned in the field by the Computerized Archaeology Laboratory of the Hebrew University. By means of an innovative technique, a three-dimensional model of the engraving was produced. “The three-dimensional scan enabled us to identify engravings that otherwise could not be seen with the naked eye,” explained Professor Lior Grossman, the laboratory director.
The chamber inside the dolmen where the engravings were found on its ceiling is large, measuring 2 by 3 meters, and the stone covering it is massive, weighing an estimated fifty tons.
The rock might symbolize the existence of a significant and established governmental system in the region during the “Middle Ages” of the Bronze Age.
The absence of cities, large settlements and monumental buildings around it may attest to the collapse of the governmental and economic systems during a dark period in history. But the dolmens seem to tell a different story about the period – a story about a society that had a complex governmental and economic system that executed monumental engineering projects but did not leave behind any other archaeological evidence. Maybe they were environmentalists who didn’t want to leave behind a trace.
Archeologists believes this to be one of the great mysteries of the archeology of Israel. Maybe we will never know what it means.