A crescent-shaped monument recently unearthed near the Sea of Galilee in Israel predates biblical landmarks by a few thousand years, archaeologists say. The massive stone structure, which they originally thought was part of an ancient city wall, was built between 3050 B.C. and 2650 B.C. and measures about 492 feet, or 150 meters, long, according to researchers from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
The monument was found near the ancient town of Bet Yerah, an Early Bronze Age fortified city whose name means “house of the moon god” in Hebrew. Archaeologists believe the monument served “to mark possession and to assert authority and rights over natural resources” by the people who lived there, Ido Wachtel, a doctoral student at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, wrote.
Several other large stone structures have been previously discovered near the site of the crescent-shaped landmark. One, a giant cairn – a mound of stones piled atop one another as a kind of memorial – was recently found underneath the waters of the Sea of Galilee. It rose nearly 32 feet high, had a diameter of about 230 feet and weighed more than 60,000 tons – heavier than most modern-day warships, Live Science noted.
The 5,000-year-old crescent monument near Bet Yerah would have taken 200 ancient workers five months to complete, Wachtel told Live Science.