There are two different stories about the edifices of Baalbek. There is the Roman story and there is the pre-Roman story. Most conventional researchers adhere to the Roman story and claim that all of the structures built at Baalbek were constructed by the Romans, primarily in the time frame from 100 BC to 200 AD. Almost all researchers, whether conventional or alternative, would agree that the most visible buildings, the Temple of Jupiter, the Temple of Bacchus, and the Temple of Venus were constructed by the Romans during that time frame. Where disagreements arise is over the provenance of the underlying foundations on which these structures were built. Alternative researchers suggest that they were constructed long before the time of the Romans, and existing evidence appears to support their position.
Foremost among the alternative researchers is Zecharia Sitchin, who builds a strong case for the underlying platform having been built about 10,450 BC. Central to his argument is the thesis that a race of technologically advanced ancient beings was responsible for the construction. This thesis is anathema to conventional researchers. While Sitchin clearly made a number of mistakes in his details, what he had to say makes a lot more sense to me than does what the conventional researchers had to say. I have, therefore, chosen to track his thinking throughout most of this book.
When dealing with events of pre-history, the data become very “slippery.” Different sources posit different dates for events and different names for both places and people. Illustratively, the Sumerian god Marduk was called by more than 50 different names. In this narrative, I have attempted to reconcile those differences.
I would like to thank my friend Cornelia Keener for her superb editorial assistance, and for her ongoing support.
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