A team of Israeli and Italian scientists has found an ancient Stonehenge-style monolith structure beneath the sea off the Sicilian coast. The researchers believe study of the recently discovered man-made structure will help understand the culture that created it.

The striking features of the monolith made researchers conclude that the structures were built by man almost 10,000 years ago. The monolith or stone block weighing 15 tons is broken into two parts and is nearly 3.2 feet long. Discovery News reports that the monolith, with three holes of similar diameter, has a regular shape.

The massive ancient structure was found 131 feet below the surface of the Mediterranean Sea. The place was once an island in the waters called the Pantelleria Vecchia bank, located 24 miles from Pantelleria, a volcanic island. According to the researchers, the island got submerged in the water during the retreat of the last ice age around 9,500 years ago.

According to Yahoo News, the ancient civilization thrived at the Pantelleria Vecchia Bank, before the land got submerged. The research team says the people were drawn to the archipelago due to the suitable climatic conditions and its position between Africa and Europe.

“This discovery reveals the technological innovation and development achieved by the Mesolithic inhabitants in the Sicilian Channel region,” said researcher Emanuele Lodolo of the National Institute of Oceanography and Experimental Geophysics.

“Such an effort undoubtedly reveals important technical skills and great engineering. It could have been some sort of a lighthouse or an anchoring system, for example.”

The complete details about the findings of the ancient underwater Stonehenge were reported in the Journal of Archaeological Science, collaboratively by Lodolo and Zvi Ben-Abraham of Tel Aviv University.