Antiquity that could reveal secrets of ancient life in Middle East discovered at bottom of Sea of Galilee, leaving Israeli researchers stranded on dry land, wondering what finds lurk below
The massive circular structure appears to be an archaeologistís dream: A recently discovered antiquity that could reveal secrets of ancient life in the Middle East and is just waiting to be excavated.
Itís thousands of years old Ė a conical, manmade behemoth weighing hundreds of tons, practically begging to be explored.
The problem is Ė itís at the bottom of the biblical Sea of Galilee. For now, at least, Israeli researchers are left stranded on dry land, wondering what finds lurk below.
The monumental structure, made of boulders and stones with a diameter of 70 meters (230 feet), emerged from a routine sonar scan in 2003. Now archaeologists are trying to raise money to allow them access to the submerged stones.
"Itís very enigmatic, itís very interesting, but the bottom line is we donít know when itís from, we donít know what itís connected to, we donít know its function," said Dani Nadel, an archaeologist at the University of Haifa who is one of several researchers studying the discovery. "We only know it is there, it is huge and it is unusual."
Archaeologists said the only way they can properly assess the structure is through an underwater excavation, a painstakingly slow process that can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. And if an excavation were to take place, archaeologists said they believed it would be the first in the Sea of Galilee, an ancient lake that boasts historical remnants spanning thousands of years and is the setting of many Bible scenes.
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