An Italian Atlantis? Archaeologists Reveal Underwater Stonehenge Near Coast of Sicily

A man-made monolith over 10,000 years old has been uncovered by archaeologists in Italy, prompting some to dub it the underwater Stonehenge. The monolith, which was completely submerged off a small island near Pantelleria, may reveal clues to ancient civilizations living in the Mediterranean basin.

Submerged Monolith Compared to Stonehenge Is More Like Atlantis of Italy

Off the coast of Sicily, submerged about 40 meters deep in the Sicilian Channel, archaeologists have come across a man-made monolith created during the Mesolithic age over 10,000 years ago.

The study authors, Zvi Ben-Avraham from Tel Aviv University and Emanuele Lodolo of the National Institute of Oceanography and Experimental Geophysics, believe the archaeological find will unveil information about significant human activity in the now-submerged regions of Italy’s coast.

The study was published in the Journal of Archaeological Science.

monolith report three pictures 2

Monolith Found in Sicilian Channel Submerged over 9,500 Years Ago

The monolith found was a total of 12 meters long, but it had been broken into two parts. The archaeologists say the monolith was a regular shape and featured three holes of a similar diameter, one at the end and the other two on the sides of the stone.

After studying the holes, the researchers concluded that no natural process could have produced the holes.

The researchers aged the rock samples of the monolith to around the Late Pleistocene age. After sampling the shoals around the monoliths, the researchers noted the limestone and sandstone were completely different than the materials of the monolith.

Once again, they concluded no natural process would have accounted for this change in stone.

The structure had been created from a single block of stone and weighed an estimated 15 tons. The process of creation probably involved cutting, extracting, transporting, and installing the structure, all of which proved whoever constructed the underwater masterpiece had engineering skills.

With all this evidence, the presence of the monolith points to human activity over 10,000 years ago within the region that is currently underwater.

How the Italian Underwater Stonehenge Became Submerged

While today it is over 40 meters under the ocean surface, the Italian “Stonehenge” had once been above ground.

During the Last Glacial Maximum, sea levels rose dramatically. This had a tremendous impact on the Mediterranean region of what was called the Adventure Plateau, the northwestern region of the Sicilian Channel that had been connected to Sicily as a broad peninsula.

Today, of course, you wouldn’t recognize the Adventure Plateau as the sea levels from the Last Glacial Maximum flooded the peninsula, creating several islands in the shallow sea.

The monolith’s particular island, the Pantelleria Vecchia Bank, had been one of these islands that thrived with ancient human life. However, they wouldn’t remain there long as the entire island would be covered around 9,500 years ago by the still-rising seawaters.

What the Italian Atlantis Can Reveal About Ancient Civilizations

Both researchers believe the discovery will lead to more studies in the Sicilian Channel region to unveil more Mesolithic human activity.

Though the function of the monolith is still unknown, the researchers believe it was a functional structure to aid the people of the community who relied on fishing and trading.

Perhaps the monolith functioned as a lighthouse or anchoring system of some sort. Or perhaps it was a part of a larger complex, less of a Stonehenge and more of an Atlantis.

The archaeological record of the ancient civilizations whose homes are now resting on the seafloor of the continental shelves is mostly a blank for now. But the researchers have found an important start in the uncovering of the prehistoric cultures when they revealed this monolith.

Whether an underwater Stonehenge structure in Sicily or a small part of an Italian Atlantis, the monolith may soon uncover more of the origins of Mediterranean peoples in the Mesolithic age.

Images used have been found from the study in the Journal of Archaeological Science with credit to Emanuele Lodolo and the other researchers.

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