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Rogem Hiri An Ancient, Mysterious Construction
Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs ^ | 2008 | U/A

Posted on 01/19/2008 3:41:43 AM PST by Fred Nerks

The megalithic complex of Rogem Hiri (Rujm al-Hiri in Arabic, meaning stone heap of the wild cat) is located in the central Golan, some 16 km. east of the Sea of Galilee, on a desolate plateau of basalt boulders. Since its discovery in a survey of the Golan in the late 1960s, this mysterious site has aroused the curiosity of archeologists. Between 1988 and 1991, archeological excavations and research were conducted in order to establish facts and determine the time of its construction and its function.

Rogem Hiri is a monumental construction of local basalt fieldstones of various sizes. It consists of two architectural units: four concentric circles enclosing a central, round cairn. The outer, largest circle is about 500 m. long and 156 m. in diameter. The walls are of varying width, of up to 3.5 m., and have been preserved to a height of 2.5 m., obliterated in some parts by stone collapse. Several radial walls connect the circular walls, creating a labyrinth-like structure which has only two entryways, one facing northeast, the other southeast.

At the center of the circles is a cairn, an irregular heap of stones. It is 20-25 m. in diameter and preserved to a height of 6 m. The cairn consists of a central mound of stones surrounded by a lower belt, which gives it the appearance of a stepped, truncated cone. A geophysical survey using Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) revealed the pile of stones to be hollow. A built burial chamber, with a narrow corridor leading to it, was discovered there. The chamber is round, roughly 2 m. in diameter, built of large stone plates arranged on top of each other, but slightly slanting inwards. It was covered by two massive slabs of basalt, each weighing over 5.5 tons, which created a semi-corbelled dome over the burial chamber.

Rogem Hiri is one of the most intriguing archeological sites in Israel. A variety of theories concerning the function of this structure, which has no parallel in the Middle East, had been proposed prior to the current research: a religious center; a defensive enclosure; a large burial complex; a center for astronomical observation; and a calendrical device. The structure was even identified as the tomb of Og, King of the Bashan and last of the giants. (Deuteronomy 3:11)

Rogem Hiri was also regarded as an astronomical observatory a sort of Middle Eastern Stonehenge. This theory is supported by the fact that the eastern side, facing the rising sun, was built with much greater care. Also, the only two entryways are located on that side, the northeastern one roughly oriented towards the solstitial sunrise on 21 June.

The archeologists who excavated the site offer other possible explanations. According to one view, the concentric circles were built during the Early Bronze Age, in the middle of the 3rd millennium BCE, as a cultic and ceremonial center, where nomadic people in the process of becoming sedentary gathered annually; and that much later, during the late Bronze Age (1400 1300 BCE) the cairn containing the burial chamber was added (it was robbed of its contents in antiquity and only a few artifacts were found, including gold earrings and bronze arrowheads). Measurements revealed that the cairn is not located in the center of the concentric circles, supporting the view that the stone pile was a later addition.

According to another view, the architecture of Rogem Hiri proves that both the concentric circles and the cairn were parts of a single structure. There is no evidence for a cultic structure below the cairn and artifacts typical of known cultic centers of that period were not found. Rogem Hiri was therefore a monumental commemorative tomb the mausoleum of an Early Bronze Age leader in the Golan; the tomb was cleared of its early burial remains in the Late Bronze Age, and then reused for burial. The size of the site reflects centralized organization and leadership capable of carrying out an engineering project of such proportions (it is estimated that 42,000 tons of stones had to be transported!).

The riddle of Rogem Hiri remains unsolved. Those who built it some 5,000 years ago left the stage of history and took with them the secrets of this unusual site.

The excavations were directed by Y. Mizrahi and M. Zohar, as part of the Land of Geshur Regional project headed by M. Kochavi, of the Institute of Archeology, Tel Aviv University

The megalithic complex of Rogem Hiri (Rujm al-Hiri in Arabic, meaning stone heap of the wild cat) is located in the central Golan, some 16 km. east of the Sea of Galilee, on a desolate plateau of basalt boulders. Since its discovery in a survey of the Golan in the late 1960s, this mysterious site has aroused the curiosity of archeologists. Between 1988 and 1991, archeological excavations and research were conducted in order to establish facts and determine the time of its construction and its function.

Rogem Hiri is a monumental construction of local basalt fieldstones of various sizes. It consists of two architectural units: four concentric circles enclosing a central, round cairn. The outer, largest circle is about 500 m. long and 156 m. in diameter. The walls are of varying width, of up to 3.5 m., and have been preserved to a height of 2.5 m., obliterated in some parts by stone collapse. Several radial walls connect the circular walls, creating a labyrinth-like structure which has only two entryways, one facing northeast, the other southeast.

At the center of the circles is a cairn, an irregular heap of stones. It is 20-25 m. in diameter and preserved to a height of 6 m. The cairn consists of a central mound of stones surrounded by a lower belt, which gives it the appearance of a stepped, truncated cone. A geophysical survey using Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) revealed the pile of stones to be hollow. A built burial chamber, with a narrow corridor leading to it, was discovered there. The chamber is round, roughly 2 m. in diameter, built of large stone plates arranged on top of each other, but slightly slanting inwards. It was covered by two massive slabs of basalt, each weighing over 5.5 tons, which created a semi-corbelled dome over the burial chamber.

Rogem Hiri is one of the most intriguing archeological sites in Israel. A variety of theories concerning the function of this structure, which has no parallel in the Middle East, had been proposed prior to the current research: a religious center; a defensive enclosure; a large burial complex; a center for astronomical observation; and a calendrical device. The structure was even identified as the tomb of Og, King of the Bashan and last of the giants. (Deuteronomy 3:11)

Rogem Hiri was also regarded as an astronomical observatory a sort of Middle Eastern Stonehenge. This theory is supported by the fact that the eastern side, facing the rising sun, was built with much greater care. Also, the only two entryways are located on that side, the northeastern one roughly oriented towards the solstitial sunrise on 21 June.

The archeologists who excavated the site offer other possible explanations. According to one view, the concentric circles were built during the Early Bronze Age, in the middle of the 3rd millennium BCE, as a cultic and ceremonial center, where nomadic people in the process of becoming sedentary gathered annually; and that much later, during the late Bronze Age (1400 1300 BCE) the cairn containing the burial chamber was added (it was robbed of its contents in antiquity and only a few artifacts were found, including gold earrings and bronze arrowheads). Measurements revealed that the cairn is not located in the center of the concentric circles, supporting the view that the stone pile was a later addition.

According to another view, the architecture of Rogem Hiri proves that both the concentric circles and the cairn were parts of a single structure. There is no evidence for a cultic structure below the cairn and artifacts typical of known cultic centers of that period were not found. Rogem Hiri was therefore a monumental commemorative tomb the mausoleum of an Early Bronze Age leader in the Golan; the tomb was cleared of its early burial remains in the Late Bronze Age, and then reused for burial. The size of the site reflects centralized organization and leadership capable of carrying out an engineering project of such proportions (it is estimated that 42,000 tons of stones had to be transported!).

The riddle of Rogem Hiri remains unsolved. Those who built it some 5,000 years ago left the stage of history and took with them the secrets of this unusual site.

The excavations were directed by Y. Mizrahi and M. Zohar, as part of the Land of Geshur Regional project headed by M. Kochavi, of the Institute of Archeology, Tel Aviv University


TOPICS: Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: archaeoastronomy; archaeology; gilgalrefaim; godsgravesglyphs; golan; golanheights; israel; letshavejerusalem; megaliths; seaofgalilee; stonehenge
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Also known as Gilgal Refaim.

1 posted on 01/19/2008 3:41:47 AM PST by Fred Nerks
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To: SunkenCiv

GGG


2 posted on 01/19/2008 3:43:10 AM PST by Calpernia (Hunters Rangers - Raising the Bar of Integrity http://www.barofintegrity.us)
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To: Fred Nerks

Clearly Irish. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.


3 posted on 01/19/2008 5:13:11 AM PST by sphinx
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To: Calpernia

“It was covered by two massive slabs of basalt, each weighing over 5.5 tons, which created a semi-corbelled dome over the burial chamber.”

Amazing to think of how ancient people moved things like this over long distances with no motors, cranes, etc. There is a lot that we “advanced” civilizations don’t know.


4 posted on 01/19/2008 5:14:23 AM PST by kittymyrib
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To: Fred Nerks

“the tomb of Og, King of the Bashan and last of the giants.”
Great name! “Og”


5 posted on 01/19/2008 5:55:39 AM PST by Dr. Bogus Pachysandra ("Don't touch that thing")
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To: Fred Nerks

Clearly it’s the first Walmart.


6 posted on 01/19/2008 6:16:50 AM PST by mtbopfuyn (I think the border is kind of an artificial barrier - San Antonio councilwoman Patti Radle)
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To: mtbopfuyn

Sure does look like some of the crop circles.


7 posted on 01/19/2008 6:40:42 AM PST by WVNan
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To: mtbopfuyn

Looks more like the first Target...


8 posted on 01/19/2008 7:29:04 AM PST by Hegemony Cricket (IX-XI -- numquam didici)
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To: sphinx
>Clearly Irish

Irish? Don't piss off
the Welsh witches . . . They have ways
to make you sorry . . .

9 posted on 01/19/2008 7:36:21 AM PST by theFIRMbss
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To: Fred Nerks; blam; StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach; 1ofmanyfree; 24Karet; 3AngelaD; 49th; ...

· join list or digest · view topics · view or post blog · bookmark · post a topic ·

 
Gods
Graves
Glyphs
Thanks Fred Nerks.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.
GGG managers are Blam, StayAt HomeMother, and Ernest_at_the_Beach
 

· Google · Archaeologica · ArchaeoBlog · Archaeology magazine · Biblical Archaeology Society ·
· Mirabilis · Texas AM Anthropology News · Yahoo Anthro & Archaeo ·
· History or Science & Nature Podcasts · Excerpt, or Link only? · cgk's list of ping lists ·


10 posted on 01/19/2008 8:48:53 AM PST by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/__________________Profile updated Wednesday, January 16, 2008)
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To: WVNan
My first thought too.

I gotta stop listening to Coast to Coast.

11 posted on 01/19/2008 8:51:50 AM PST by BenLurkin
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To: Fred Nerks
Whether you give them any credence or not - much of what I've read about western heresies claims that the labyrinth found in places across Europe were carried from the east.

Whoever suggested Target stores is wrong, Target was created by a miracle on the day Nortette got her credit card.

12 posted on 01/19/2008 9:24:23 AM PST by norton (deep down inside you know that Fred is your second choice - and there isn't a third choice)
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To: mtbopfuyn
When traveling, you see signs hawking some tourist trap or attraction. Only 200 miles until Trees of Mystery or South of the Border.

It's probably the ancient equivalent to a billboard.

13 posted on 01/19/2008 9:32:08 AM PST by csvset
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To: theFIRMbss
Is that Stevie Nicks?
14 posted on 01/19/2008 9:32:26 AM PST by blam (Secure the border and enforce the law)
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To: csvset

15 posted on 01/19/2008 9:35:16 AM PST by blam (Secure the border and enforce the law)
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To: blam
>Is that Stevie Nicks?

Yeah. (Have you ever
read her 'commentary' on
'Edge of Seventeen?'

I had always thought
it was a cool song about
an old/young romance

but as she tell it
it's a weird song about death.
I've since stopped reading

Stevie's liner notes
and I just enjoy her songs
without backstory!)

16 posted on 01/19/2008 10:43:10 AM PST by theFIRMbss
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To: SunkenCiv; blam
FOOTSTEPS OF GOLIATH.link.

...In fact, the Bible says Goliath belonged to a race of giants: the Refaim. High up on the mountainous plains of the Golan Heights we visit the ancient stone circles of Gilgal Refaim, a 5000 year old monument, similar to England’s Stonehenge.

Could this huge monument be the work of giants? After all, it lies in the land of Bashan, the land of giants.

In ancient times, not only the authors of the Bible believed that giants roamed their lands. Many ancient people wrote about giants or engraved them on seals and temple walls. One example is found in the famous Abu Simbel Temple of Ramesses II in Egypt. But ancient texts from Syria and Egypt also suggest giants really existed...

17 posted on 01/19/2008 1:32:58 PM PST by Fred Nerks (FAIR DINKUM!)
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To: Fred Nerks

It is perfectly obvious to me that Stone henge is the British Rogem Hiri


18 posted on 01/19/2008 1:39:03 PM PST by bert (K.E. N.P. +12 . Moveon is not us...... Moveon is the enemy)
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To: theFIRMbss
"I had always thought it was a cool song about an old/young romance"

I did and still do think it was/is a song about her early encounter (in high school, Atherton High) with Lindsey Buckingham.

BTW, if these two people (especially Lindsey) hadn't joined Fleetwood Mac...FWM would just be a small foot note in RR history today.
FWM went after Lindsey and were told that Lindsey and Stevie were a 'package/couple', both or none.


19 posted on 01/19/2008 2:12:03 PM PST by blam (Secure the border and enforce the law)
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To: bert; blam; SunkenCiv
There is also a similar lay-out here, in the Alergian Sahara:

concentric circles with a central feature and pathway entrance are common throughout the world.

Cuicuilco, for example. The method is different but the plan appears to be the same.

20 posted on 01/19/2008 2:31:21 PM PST by Fred Nerks (FAIR DINKUM!)
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