Mysterious structure in the Sea of Galilee

Scientists report the discovery of a mysterious structure in the Sea of Galilee on the SW “corner” near the site of Bet Yerah.

According to Live Science here, this structure is made of large basalt blocks. These volcanic stones are common in the region.

A giant “monumental” stone structure discovered beneath the waters of the Sea of Galilee in Israel has archaeologists puzzled as to its purpose and even how long ago it was built.

The mysterious structure is cone shaped, made of “unhewn basalt cobbles and boulders,” and weighs an estimated 60,000 tons the researchers said. That makes it heavier than most modern-day warships.

Rising nearly 32 feet (10 meters) high, it has a diameter of about 230 feet (70 meters). To put that in perspective, the outer stone circle of Stonehenge has a diameter just half that with its tallest stones not reaching that height.

You will need to check the Live Science report, or the original scholarly article from International Journal of Nautical Archaeology (Vol. 42: Issue 1; March 2013) here or here (pdf). There you will find a map, photos and drawings of the structure.

I stopped very near the spot of the structure to make some photos of ripe date palms a few years ago.

The Sea of Galilee near Bet Yerah. The view is to the east across this narrow southern end of the lake. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

The Sea of Galilee near Bet Yerah. The view is to the east across this narrow southern end of the lake. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Whatever this structure and it purpose, it seems to have existed long before any of the biblical activity recorded in the region.

HT: Joseph I. Lauer

7 responses to “Mysterious structure in the Sea of Galilee

  1. The Grand Court and two other new hotels have been built where the no-man’s land was before 1967. This is a fine area for you. You have a major street behind the hotel.

  2. Pingback: Around the Web (4/11) |

  3. Is the Grand Court Hotel in Jerusalem in the West Bank? I’m using the border line on Google Earth and it looks like it is just by the line on the Isaeli side. I’ve wondered about this and your comment about not taking the rental car across the line makes me wonder whether I should look for another hotel.

  4. Thanks. I did not know any of this so it is helpful.

  5. Craig, I trust you will have an enjoyable visit. Be sure to remember that you are not allowed to drive the Israeli rental car in the West Bank. Also, if you use Hwy. 6 the fee will be charged to your credit card about a month later. Full length from Galilee to exit for Jerusalem might be less than $20.

  6. Amazing! Even more so because my wife and I are traveling to Israel this weekend and will be staying at some guest houses near this location. I took one of your tour itineraries and tried to make hotel reservations at the hotels that were listed. I tried the Ron Beach in Tiberias, but they were booked, so I found another place on We also have reservations at the Seasons Hotel in Netanya and the Grand Court in Jerusalem. This will be our first trip to Israel. Just my wife, me and a rental car. Should be interesting. Craig Baugh

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