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Did Ancient People use Sound to Move Megaliths?

Updated: Jul 25, 2022

Ancient humans built some of the most impressive monuments in the world. The Great Pyramid of Giza is just one example of the feats of engineering that our ancestors were capable of. Stonehenge, the Temple of Jupiter at Baalbek, Tiwanaku in Bolivia all demonstrate an ability possessed by the ancients long-lost to us. How did they manage to move giant stones across the sometimes hundreds of miles from where they were quarried to where they were erected? Some researchers claim that they used their advanced acoustical knowledge.

Rediscovering the Power of Sound

For centuries, scientists and engineers believed that the most efficient way to cut stone was by hitting it really hard with a hammer. This concept was later expanded in commercial drilling, where the hammer was replaced by diamond-tipped drill bits. Modern drilling also involves lubricating the surface you are drilling into with special mud. This mud can easily contaminate core samples and the environment.

Engineers have been experimenting with using sonic vibrations to speed up the drilling process. These experiments have been taking place since the 1940s. Ray Roussy, P. Eng., President of the Sonic Drill Corporation and of Sonic Drilling Ltd., is credited with propagating modern sonic drills. These drills are up to 3-5x faster than conventional drills and can function without the use of drilling mud.

Scientists have also been experimenting with acoustic levitation. This is a process where you can levitate objects using pure sound. Essentially, bounced off of an object at a very high frequency. These soundwaves apply pressure to the object that makes it float. The science is quite complex. All you need to know is that the concept has been thoroughly proven. Currently, acoustic levitators are limited to levitating tiny objects.

Levitating small objects is pretty impressive. Some fringe theorists believe that sound could be used to levitate larger objects as well. They believe that ancient people had advanced knowledge of acoustics. As such, they were able to levitate the giant stones used to construct the monolithic stone monuments of the distant past.

Mysterious Sites

The Great Pyramid of Giza

Mainstream archaeologists believe that ancient sites, like the Great Pyramid at Giza, were built using stone tools and manpower. Recently, the theory that the pyramids were built by slaves has been overturned. They now believe that the pyramids were constructed by skilled laborers. That's just the problem with archaeological theories, though, it's always a best-guess scenario. When there is no explicit-written record, it comes down to belief.

Alternative archaeology researchers, like Graham Hancock, have long held that ancient civilizations are far more advanced than we give them credit for. Could our ancestors have had advanced knowledge about acoustic levitation?

Levitating massive objects using sound is theoretically possible, but using modern techniques you would need massive speakers. The total sonic output of such a device would be incredibly destructive and could destroy the object you were hoping to levitate.

The main element of the controversy is that there is little to no record of exactly how the ancient Egyptians were able to move stones weighing an average of 7 tons over great distances. According to a 4500-year-old papyrus discovered in 2013, the blocks were transported by river from the quarry to the construction site. No information on construction methods has been revealed.

Baalbek in Lebanon

Many other ancient sites were built using even bigger stones. The Temple of Jupiter at Baalbek, for instance. Built upon the ruins of an even older temple, the Roman temple of Jupiter is a wonder in its own right. The foundation of the temple contains three of the most massive stones ever quarried by humans. Each of these stones is said to weigh 1000 tons. Modern humans would be hard-pressed to move something that massive, and that is where alternative archaeologists come in. The stones at Baalbek were quarried relatively close to the construction site, 900 meters away. They were then lifted 20 feet off the ground to be placed in the building's foundation with supreme accuracy. The fact that the stones did not break while being moved is telling.

Legend has it that Cain built the original temple in the 133rd year of creation. He is then said to have populated it with giants that were later wiped out by the great flood. It's easy to understand why people would ascribe the presence of giants to a site this massive.

Jean-Pierre Adam, a French archaeologist, proposed a method of transport in a 1977 study. He claims that the stones could have been moved using a system of rollers and pulleys. By his calculations, it would take 512 men to move a stone half the size of the big foundation stones of Baalbek. He never explained how the blocks would be moved up and into place. Other theories state that it would take 40,000 men to lift the blocks into place. That's a lot of dudes.

Stonehenge in the United Kingdom

Stonehenge is one of the most endearing mysteries of the UK. Little is known about the significance of the site or about the people that built it. Researchers believe that the site was built over the course of 1500 years. The outer monoliths are made of locally quarried sandstone, but the inner blue stonesbluestones come from quarries in Wales, 250 kilometers away. While the inner stones weighed 4 tons, the outer stones are said to weigh up to 19 tons. These stones were all somehow lifted 24 feet into the air to be placed on the standing monoliths.

The people that built Stonehenge hadn't even discovered the wheel by the time they were stacking monoliths. Modern researchers have proven some of their theories about how the stones were moved into place. Here are two videos of people that manage to replicate similar feats:

Abul Hasan Ali Al-Masudi - Magic Floating Papyrus

The Arabian scholar and historian, Abul Hasan Ali Al-Masudi, is one of the few sources to write about the construction of the pyramids. Abul Hasan Ali Al-Masudi lived between 895-957 CE, so he was quite far removed from the actual construction of the pyramids. He did offer a possible explanation, though, magic papyrus. Masudi wrote that blocks of stone were placed upon magic papyrus. The stone would then be struck by a metal rod that would activate the magic and move the stone 50 meters before the process had to be repeated.

While it's easy to dismiss Masudi's claims for relying on 'magic', it is important to remember that in ancient times magic and science were the same thing. The main issue with Masudi's claim is that he was so far removed from the construction that his testimony is likely based on myth and rumor. He was certainly a great scholar, but many other scholars have been tempted to transcribe myth as fact.


While it seems unlikely that ancient humans vibrated massive stones through the air, it is equally far-fetched to think they achieved laser-like precision using nothing but crude stone tools and muscle power. Their true techniques are probably lost to the mists of history. There will likely always be a debate over the exact methods used to transport colossal stones and to freely maneuver them into place. Considering the epic scale of these ancient sites, it is easy to see why people are quick to claim that aliens did it. Others choose to believe in magic. Either way, the secret of the stones will likely remain an occult mystery.



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