A submerged monolith in the Sicilian Channel - Journal of Archaeological Science

Nov 2014
38
US
#1
Some very interesting stuff coming out in the September issue of Journal of Archaeological Science about a find off of the coast of Sicily, where sea levels were lower around the end of the ice age, and at least one megalith has been discovered.

A submerged monolith in the Sicilian Channel (central Mediterranean Sea): Evidence for Mesolithic human activity

Emanuele Lodoloa, , , Zvi Ben-Avrahamb, c

a Istituto Nazionale di Oceanografia e di Geofisica Sperimentale (OGS), Trieste, Italy
b Department of Earth Sciences, Tel Aviv University, Israel
c Charney School of Marine Sciences, University of Haifa, Israel

Received 26 April 2015, Revised 1 July 2015, Accepted 4 July 2015, Available online 15 July 2015

Highlights

• A submerged, 12 m long monolith has been discovered at a water depth of 40 m, in a shallow bank of the Sicilian Channel.
• Morphological evidence, underwater observations, and results of petrographic analysis testify that the monolith is man-made.
• This monolith suggests a significant human activity in the Pantelleria Vecchia Bank, a former island of the Sicilian Channel.
• Seawater inundated the Pantelleria Vecchia Bank at 9350 ± 200 yr B.P., presumably forcing inhabitants to migrate.
A submerged monolith in the Sicilian Channel (central Mediterranean Sea): Evidence for Mesolithic human activity










9350 before present would be around 7350 BC. (They say plus or minus 200 years so I'm not worried about the 15. :cool: )


It will be interesting to see if more study can be done on this monolith to find any relation to construction techniques from stone monoliths believed to be more recent in Europe. Of course dating stone itself is impossible, and other clues have to be used.

I have always wondered if the monoliths scattered around Europe are not older than assumed, and that for example carbon dated material came from a later culture who simply re-used the megalithic sites for their own religious purposes. In this case, the stone has obviously been underwater for quite some time.
 

Isleifson

Ad Honorem
Aug 2013
3,989
Lorraine tudesque
#2
Some very interesting stuff coming out in the September issue of Journal of Archaeological Science about a find off of the coast of Sicily, where sea levels were lower around the end of the ice age, and at least one megalith has been discovered.



A submerged monolith in the Sicilian Channel (central Mediterranean Sea): Evidence for Mesolithic human activity










9350 before present would be around 7350 BC. (They say plus or minus 200 years so I'm not worried about the 15. :cool: )


It will be interesting to see if more study can be done on this monolith to find any relation to construction techniques from stone monoliths believed to be more recent in Europe. Of course dating stone itself is impossible, and other clues have to be used.

I have always wondered if the monoliths scattered around Europe are not older than assumed, and that for example carbon dated material came from a later culture who simply re-used the megalithic sites for their own religious purposes. In this case, the stone has obviously been underwater for quite some time.
Of course megaliths have been used by later cultures. Even by Christian.

http://www.megalithic.co.uk/index.php
 
Nov 2014
38
US
#3
Right, and the reason I was mentioning that is because dates are often giving for these kinds of megalithic sites that have very little, if anything, to support them. If carbon dating is used to test human remains or other artifacts, and then that date is used to date the stone site itself, then we have a problem. What if those artifacts were from one of the later inhabitants of that region?

Coincidentally, this seems to be how the Stonehenge dating was finally "proven," by carbon dating artifacts found in a former hole where one of the original stones once stood:

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Dig pinpoints Stonehenge origins

I understand that Stonehenge as it appears today has had some modern re-touchings to it, shall we say. From what I have seen it was more or less rebuilt. So when this article says remains in one of the original holes, where a stone was later removed, this is soil that has already been disturbed at least once and probably twice before it was tested.

Or in some cases it seems as though some megalithic sites in Europe are dated simply to fit in with a pre-existing theory, along the lines of, "We think these people were here in this area at this time, and that's where this megalithic site is, so therefore these people must have built it at this time."

There is apparently other carbon dating evidence that the article above mentions, indicating that people were living in the general area of Stonehenge by 7000 BC. This is fairly close to the dating of the monolith in the paper above, which doesn't necessarily mean anything, except that someone was doing this type of work already back then.
 

AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
26,832
Italy, Lago Maggiore
#4
Well, regarding prehistoric megalithic compounds under the waters of the Mediterranean Sea, there is an other remarkable example, coming from that far age [when the level of the sea was well inferior to the present one]:

Atlit Yam, in front of the Israeli coast. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlit_Yam

The site is well preserved and it has been dated around 7,000 - 6,500 BCE.

Sure Atlit Yam shows a real archaeological site with organized structures, human rests [skeletons included] and valuable finds.
 
Aug 2011
1,616
Sweden
#5
Some very interesting stuff coming out in the September issue of Journal of Archaeological Science about a find off of the coast of Sicily, where sea levels were lower around the end of the ice age, and at least one megalith has been discovered.



A submerged monolith in the Sicilian Channel (central Mediterranean Sea): Evidence for Mesolithic human activity










9350 before present would be around 7350 BC. (They say plus or minus 200 years so I'm not worried about the 15. :cool: )


It will be interesting to see if more study can be done on this monolith to find any relation to construction techniques from stone monoliths believed to be more recent in Europe. Of course dating stone itself is impossible, and other clues have to be used.

I have always wondered if the monoliths scattered around Europe are not older than assumed, and that for example carbon dated material came from a later culture who simply re-used the megalithic sites for their own religious purposes. In this case, the stone has obviously been underwater for quite some time.
One question regarding the monolith: how can one date it, as the erection may have taken place at any date before the submergence?
 

ib-issi

Ad Honorem
Mar 2011
3,403
just sitting here
#6
Presumably it is more difficult to date than posing a question about a possible erection
on dry land , it may have been quaried somewhere and have been being transported
on rafts , or similar when it sank , presumably where it is now does not have to have been dry land at the time ??
 

AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
26,832
Italy, Lago Maggiore
#7
Italian news say a little. The datation seems to be connected to evaluation about when that area went under the water while the level of the sea was arising. I'm not aware of organic rests for c14 datation found in the site.
 

AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
26,832
Italy, Lago Maggiore
#9
Isn't simply more likely that the stone was erected at the spot, somewhere before the given date? And that could mean back inte the ice age.
At least back to the period when the ices were melting, the millenniums following the end of the glacial age.
 

caldrail

Ad Honorem
Feb 2012
5,303
#10
I have always wondered if the monoliths scattered around Europe are not older than assumed, and that for example carbon dated material came from a later culture who simply re-used the megalithic sites for their own religious purposes
Let's not get carried away. Just because a monlith has been found from a certain date does not indicate the same date applies to every remaining monolith elsewhere. At Stonehenge and other megalithic sites in Britain, the age and origin of the stones has been thoruughly investigated and the discovery of a submerged stone off Sicily is not necessarily linked nor evidence of 'older antiquity'. It is a remarkable find of course, but one that merely shows communal effort in prehistory during a time of reduced sea levels. There is little or no evidence to support any continuity of culture or religion.
 

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