A Blockhead for Jupiter

jupiter

Leave it to the Romans to try something too big! The picture above is of a block of stone some 64 feet long, hand-carved, and weighing in at a massive 1200+ tons (not pounds, tons, you do the math). It was found in an ancient quarry near Baalbeck in Lebanon. It appears to have been destined to be part of the massive stairs leading up to the even more massive temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus being erected in Heliopolis. Only one problem— transportation. Well, actually two problems– it was of a sort of stone that would likely crack during being transported. What we have learned from this stone is that they were often carved at the quarry before transportation, and then shoe-horned into place when they arrived. Only this big baby never got off the ground, or out of the quarry parking lot. Apparently the motto of the Romans when it came to building projects was— ‘go large or go away!’.