A man-made 12-metre-long monolith has been discovered in a shallow bank of the Sicilian Channel that runs between Tunisia and Sicily. The structure is thought to be 10,000-year-old.
The structure lying on the seabed. The two pieces of the rock seen here were initially pieced together. Three holes of similar diameter have also been observed which seem to support the idea that the monolith was man-made. Photo credits: Lodolo et al. 2015.
The monolith makes around 15 tonnes in weight. It was lying 40 metres deep. It is believed that the area where it was discovered was once not completely submerged by the sea.
Analysis of the limestone structure suggests that it was cut and moved as a one-piece rock. It was later divided into two because of some unknown reason.
The discovery provides invaluable information concerning the Pantelleria Vecchia Bank that was only submerged around 9,350 years ago. Scientists believe that as the tide rose, the Stone Age populations had to leave the area, thereby abandoning their structure that was ultimately swallowed into the sea.
If it was indeed man-made, this implies that the people living at that time could cooperate in an organised way to build something. Why did the people build the monolith for, then? Researchers have no clue.