Talk:List of largest monoliths in the world

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article title[edit]

This article seems to be about the heaviest monoliths, not the largest -- maybe it should be retitled? "List of the heaviest monoliths in the world" or "List of the largest monoliths in the world, by mass" —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:37, 19 July 2010 (UTC)

Calculating the weight of megaliths[edit]

This section was created to help people recognize mistakes on there own since there is false information out there. It relys partly on information from the sites it is linked to including density and granite. I will try to find better sources within the week or so. I didn't make them up but unfortunately I didn't keep perfect records for this part it will just take a little time to find it.

Zacherystaylor (talk) 19:47, 24 November 2008 (UTC)

I have provided several sources citing a variety of densities for different stones. They are not all the same but they are within a certain range that indicates the different densities of different stones. In some cases like Basalt there is a larger range of density. Olmec heads are on the low side the dolorite basalt used by ancient Egyptians to carve granite is on the high side. I also provided a source for a teachers web site that shows how to calculate density. This helps explain how scholars come to their conclusions and it helps recognize the difference between good scholars and bad. The weights provided on other sections were from sourced scholars however checking the work helps avoiding using bad scholars work.

Zacherystaylor (talk) 06:08, 2 December 2008 (UTC)

Improving the article[edit]

This is an interesting article, and quite a bit of work has gone into it. Congrats.

Some quick thoughts on improving this article:

  • According to the Manual of Style, Lists should be ordered, perhaps alphabetically or geographically.
  • The calculations such as "Approximately 18 men pulled each ton" are rather spurious. Eighteen men didn't pull 1 ton, but rather 180 men pulled 10 tons. Since readers can calculate such ratios for themselves, I believe that these sentences should be removed. In addition, providing calculations is also close to Original Research.
  • There are really two lists in this article. It should really be an article, or it should be one list.

I'll try to do some copyediting when I get the chance, Madman (talk) 14:09, 15 January 2009 (UTC)

Any improvements will be welcome. I did the best I knew how to within the rules of wikipedia. I was attempting to provide the most organized set of facts I could find from reputable sources. I thought the conversion was similar to converting from pounds to tons. It may border on original work but it is so simple anyone can confirm it.
I'm not sure how to turn it into an article without doing what might be considered original work. This is a collection of 2 related lists and a simple way to confirm density which was backed up by traditional sources. This was intended to help people get the hard facts in an organized manner. It was also intended to help people recognize a lot of misinformation on the subject. good day

Zacherystaylor (talk) 08:40, 16 January 2009 (UTC)

As mentioned, I do believe this is a good compilation. My first and third points, however, are that this article does not conform to the guidelines for lists. In particular, some sort of order should be brought to the list. Thanks,Madman (talk) 14:24, 16 January 2009 (UTC)

The guide lines for lists requires organization as it should. I just looked at the heading and realized I didn't explain the way I organized it. I just added a statement saying it was organized according to the size of the largest megalith on the site. If that isn't satisfactory I could organize it according to countries but I thought this would be better for this site. The exceptions were at the bottom of the list where estimates of the last dozen or so were all in the same aproximate range. This is similar to the organization to the ancient-wisdom site I just removed. My objection to that was that it wasn't accurate however I did agree with the way they organized their list.

My intention was to do something similar to the following

The theories for one of them usualy apply to all of them as well as many other sites. I could spin it off into 2 different lists but that would defeat the purpose of connecting theories about various sites together. If you think a theories for megalithic sites might address your concerns and be within the wikipedia rules I could do that.

On another note I was thinking of doing another list for ancient sites with large volumes of sculpture. That would probably be better organized by country like the sculpture insitu list even if you do agree with the size organization for this site. However if there are problems with this one I would like to know before I do it again. This one would just be one list but I haven't decided quite how to do it.

Regards Zacherystaylor (talk) 08:18, 17 January 2009 (UTC)

Glad to hear about the order. I guess I should have figured it out. : ) Thanks, Madman (talk) 14:36, 17 January 2009 (UTC)

I thought I had already done that though it wasn't until you pointed it out that I noticed it was missing and it probably could use other improvements which I'll try to come up with. Zacherystaylor (talk) 05:19, 18 January 2009 (UTC)


The ancient wisdom site which was just added seems to have exaggerated estimates so I removed it. Furthermore it is using wikipedia for a source when wikipedia is the highest estimate but not when it is lower. Some of the estimates used on this site are based on sources that are not considered acceptable to wikipedia including Graham Hancock who makes obvious mathematical mistakes. Zacherystaylor (talk) 09:05, 16 January 2009 (UTC)

Whoever is adding this site please stop unless you are willing to fix the inaccuracies in the website. there are at least 4 or 5 megaliths on this site that are exaggerated and rely on sources that wouldn't be acceptable to wikipedia rules. If the inaccuaracies are corrected I will not object to it. Zacherystaylor (talk) 08:48, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

Message to Zacherystaylor from ancient-wisdom. Jan 21st. 2009. Hi there Zachery.

You have accused ancient-wisdom of only using the higher estimates and not the lower ones mentioned on wikipedia. I should like the opportunity to respond to those charges:

In the first place, ancient-wisdom does not rely on single estimates, but rather several, without prejudice. It should be remembered that in most cases the stones have NOT been weighed and the estimates are just estimates, not facts.

Secondly, ancient-wisdom is interested in the TRUTH .. without prejudice. As such, the site is revised on a daily basis, and referenced information is added as it comes in. If you believe that the site is in error, please let us know via the following link, and your suggestions will be considered (as long as they are correctly referenced).

Zachery - I understand that the field of prehistory is riddled with innacuracies and distortions and it is to that aim that the site was originally started. In many cases, the controversy itself is what stimulates debate such as this. As im sure you are aware, the Top50-stones page has been online for well over two years now and is almost unrecognisable from its original form. In itself this should demonstrate that ancient-wisdom is NOT promoting the same ignorant facts that other sites are.

And so, returning to your original charges: That there are (only) 4 or 5 estimates that do not comply to wikipedias 'rules', and that ancient-wisdom only uses the top estimates: Why don't you let me know which megaliths you are referring to, offer me 'better' estimates, and I would be pleased to consider correcting them.

Respectfully yours, Alex.

P/S. You spelt the words soite (site), exagerated (exaggerated), acceptible (acceptable) and mathimatical (mathematical) wrongly....

—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:14, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

Please see our policy on reliable sources WP:RS and external links WP:EL. I am sorry, but there is no way that this site meets our criteria for use either as a source for information or as an external link. In addition, see WP:COI. This has nothing to do with inaccuracies on the website. Wikipedia is about reporting what reliable and verifiable sources have said about a subject, and we try to carefully explain what we mean by reliable and verifiable. Only in exceptional cases will we use personal websites (ie if the website is the official website of the subject of the article, or perhaps if the owner of the website was a recognised expert in his/her field). dougweller (talk) 19:13, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

Hi Doug.

It appears that has been banned from Wikipedia.

Honestly...Im not sure exactly whats happened here, or why... I first find myself defending a charge of misrepresentation of the facts, to which I believe I have responded sufficiently well in that is an exploration of prehistory. The aim of the site is to research the boundaries of prehistoric research and as such some of the content is speculative, but it is no way incorrect, nor aimed to prejudice the reader. The site is fully referenced and is intended to be as unbiased and unprejudiced as Wikipedia says it is. As such - I asked for the errors I was accused of making and offered to correct them.

In reply, I found your note on the megaliths discussion page which seems to suggest that I am breaching Wikipedia guidelines by neither referencing material (which can be seen to be a false statement), or that I am prejudiced in my approach. It is ironic that your response was to block me, whereas mine was to accept criticism and alter the site according to your original request.

I once again ask you to specify the mistakes I was originally charged with (the 4-5 errors my 2 year old Top-50 stones page), in order that i can correct them ... As the site is clearly referenced, and I am openly offering to alter incorrect information on it... it will be interesting to see if you will allow ancient-wisdom to be part of the Wilkipedia future.

All the best..Alex.

( —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:37, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

Dougweller is more familar with the rules than I but I'm quite sure another rule says your not supposed to promote your own site on wikipedia. As for sources there are plenty of sources to the various sites listed. I am familar with your web site I have seen it before. I have noticed that some of it has been improved. I am aware that much about prehistory is inconclusive but the size of these megaliths can be confirmed by using scientific methods by calculating volume and mass as you seem to have ackowledged on your site. I have used these methods to determine that sources like Graham Hancock and John Anthony West have not estimated the size of stones properly. The stones that are exaggerated on your site include Sacsayhuaman, Peru, Korean dolmen, Tiahuanaco, Bolivia, The Osirion, Poulnabrone, Ireland. In the case of the Poulnabrone dolmen it is only 12 feet long and very thin I doubt if it is more than 8-10 tons it is certainly not close to the 100 ton estimate. Correcting these mistakes would address my concerns but you would still have to comply with wikipedia rules. I suggest you read Wikipedia:About

Zacherystaylor (talk) 05:55, 21 January 2009 (UTC)

Zaccherystaylor, Dougweller: (For The Record - 23. Jan 2009).

In response to your original criticisms, the Top50-Stones page has been respectfully adjusted as follows:

Tiahuanaco and Korea Dolmen: Apart from a few minor alterations in text, further references have been added.

Sacsayhuaman: Correction noted. Estimate lowered from 250 to 120 tons with references.

With regards to the Osireion, I notice that Wikipedia has used John Anthony West as their reference for the weight (The very same person you criticise on this page for innaccurate estimating), and that your unreferenced estimate is the same as his..? As such, I have calculated the weight of the stones myself at between 50 and 60 tons (working available on my Osireion page).

The Poulnaborne dolmen has been removed from the list. You are absolutely correct. Thanks for pointing that one out.

Your other criticisms of are completely uneccessary and dissappointing, but I especially take exception to the accusation that I am deliberately distorting facts.. (Speechless...) As you well know, the ancient-wisdom Top-50 Stones page has already been running for a long time and speaks for itself. However, the content of ancient-wisdom extends beyond the dimensions of stones and as further debate of the merits of the site with you seems futile, so I shall take my leave.

All the best, Alex..

Good point about West. I haven't accused you of distoring facts. I've simply pointed out that your website fails our criteria at WP:RS.

I didn't mean to imply that your estimates were intentionaly distorted I apologize if it seemed that way. There are many distorted estimates for many of these megaliths and it is hard to sort them out which is why I began calculating the volume and density. I have found that even the most reputable sources seem to contridict each other. I actualy think your web site does serve a good purpose but as Doug points out it doesn't seem to comply with wikipedia criteria. Regards Zacherystaylor (talk) 15:00, 26 January 2009 (UTC)

And this is, huh...[edit]


"List of megalithic sites" is definitely not a one-man (or ten men) aim; it's about impossible. So, I understand that we're talking here only about sites with rocks over ten tons, or more exactly "a list of ancient sites that moved megalithic stones organized according to the size of the largest megalith on the site".

If it's only about above 10 tons it's a subset of a megalith list, as megaliths don't have to weigh 10 tons.

There are scores of sites attempting megalith lists, some quite comprehensive and with diverse degree of success, and scores and scores of megalithic monuments to enter all over the world.

Altogether, I fell like I'm missing something important here? --Xyzt1234 (talk) 21:32, 15 February 2009 (UTC)

Megalithic Sites[edit]

I enjoyed reading about peoples attempts to move megalithic cut stones in prehistoric fashions. However, a factor is missing in the attempts that these people have endevoured to accomplish. They are coming from a place of already knowing the possibilities, from a more advance knowledge of mechanics, than their ancient brothers. There is no explanation as to how these primitive people could have calculated these feats of ingenuity with out advanced mathematics, tools and purpose. What would be the purpose for example at Ollantaytambo to put up 6 megaliths weighing approx. 100 tons each from a quarry 5kms away, cut to precision, hauled down the side of a mountain range, across a river, over a valley and up the mountain to the site where they stand today, just to build a Sun Temple? How did they decide what type of stone they would use? And why that particular type of stone, when there were able stones already at the site? Why does the older portion of this site show far greater sophistication and ingenuity than the newer portions? And what tools did our ancestors use to cut these stones? To cut granite with raw copper tools would take a considerable length of time, try it some time, remembering that these sites have thousands upon thousands of these precisely cut stones. Moving them would have been the easiest concept for them to calculate. Designing and calculating the placement of each stone some having as many as twelve angles to fit precisely, and as tightly as a jigsaw puzzle would be a far greater feat for our ancient ancestors. I think if we want to prove that these ancient primitive cultures actually accomplished the construction of these structures themselves without the aid of giants or aliens, then we need to know where and how they acquired the knowledge to do so. Also, I would suspect that a civilization advanced enough to build the great pyramid of Giza would have left us a record of it's construction in their historical records! Why is there no historical reference anywhere as to how the Pryamids or any of these ancient megalithic sites where constructed, or of the events associated with their construction, or as to where the knowledge was obtained to design and construct them? Of all of these ancient megalithic sites there is no record of how they were constructed, don't you find that somewhat peculiar? Eygptology informs us that Khufu had the great pyramid constructed during his 22, or so, year reign. If that were the case, then one stone would've had to have been cut, moved and place every 5 mins. around the clock for the full 22 years. This wouldn't have included the planning, designing, ground preparation, measuring, making of the tools that would be needed to cut the stones, the gathering of the man power, masons, mathematicians,the building of the labours quarters, the stocking up of food supplies that would be needed to feed the labours, the building of the scaffolding, the making of the ropes, logs or whatever was used to move the stones, whether barges were use as some have suggested, the supplies gathered to build and prepare everything that would be needed. The preparation for a feat such as the great pyramid in itself could have taken these people 22 years. So what if a group of modern day men can move a megalithic stone a few meters, or build a small pyramid. Can they design, prepare and construct a megalithic structure for the first time without any preconception to pattern after, or perpare tools to utilize? I don't think the answers to how these structures where built by primitive cultures will ever be answered until we determine the truth as to why and when they were constructed. I believe that the why and when will answer the how. Linda B. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:57, 25 January 2010 (UTC)

Monolith implies ancient?[edit]

I notice that no modern monoliths are listed, even when they fall into the range of the stones listed here. An example would be the 63-ton monolithic limestone columns of the Mellon Institute building. Is this something we want to intentionally exclude, or is it an oversight? If it's something we choose to intentionally exclude because it's modern, perhaps we should change the page title to "List of largest ancient monoliths in the world" or something similar? Vykk (talk) 18:48, 23 September 2010 (UTC)

10000 ton quarried but unmoved monolith from China[edit]

YangShan, from Ming Dynasty China, 1400s. Three pieces in fact. Largest one measures 12m by 16m by 30m with an estimated weight of around 16000 tons. The 2 smaller ones are estimated at 8000 and 6000 tons respectively. The 3 pieces were supposed to be stacked up on top of one another in the original design, yielding a 70m tall final structure. How the engineers were actually convinced that this was at all feasible strains credulity, but since the 'quarried but unmoved' section is sort of a celebration of vanity gone astray anyway, it would be fitting to see this monster listed.Wikidness69 (talk) 22:55, 27 June 2011 (UTC)

Added the Yangshan Quarry. -- Vmenkov (talk) 02:50, 12 September 2011 (UTC)

Added a link to the Ming Dynasty in the table. By the way congratulations, great job on the Yangshan Quarry page! Wikidness69 (talk) 22:18, 12 September 2011 (UTC)

This is rather an example for immobile rock-cut architecture than a genuine monolith in the sense of this article. See below for more. Gun Powder Ma (talk) 22:41, 30 November 2013 (UTC)
I see your point that it probably wouldn't have moved even if it was completed, but it was supposed to. I also don't think it should be in "rock-cut architecture" because rock-cut architecture is not supposed to be moved. Also, you claimed to have removed it "by discussion, when you were the only one who thought so.Alexschmidt711 (talk) 17:31, 6 April 2014 (UTC)

Getting it right[edit]

I've no doubt there's a lot of interesting information in this article, but it misses the point fairly seriously by not even mentioning the largest monoliths in the world such as Uluru in central Australia. Your definition of a monolith as "a large stone which is used to ..." is patently wrong. A monolith is simply a large stone. I appreciate that the term "monolith" can be geologically a slightly ambiguous term, but if you want to exclude Uluru and many other stationary monoliths, you should change the title of the article. It is not about the largest monoliths in the world! ARBrennan 22:06, 9 October 2011 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by ARBrennan (talkcontribs)

  • Did a quick look up of these monuments and noticed some (i.e. Chinese) monoliths are in metric tons whilst the list is in tons. So there should be a basic check to see if there are some English/Metric mismatches going on here of all the various measurements.Septagram (talk) 03:04, 16 July 2012 (UTC)
While it's accurate to say that the uses for which any monolith was erected is unknown, and should not rightly be assumed - it's also not accurate to make Uluru into a monolith. It's just a big natural stone. A monolith is a stone that is shaped and moved by humans. Kortoso (talk) 19:45, 29 December 2014 (UTC)

Levitated Mass[edit]

There is a new stone to add to this list. See . It is 340 tons, apparently. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:11, 4 March 2012 (UTC)

Calculating the weight of monoliths[edit]

The first sentence in the second paragraph under this heading directly contradicts the first paragraph. Either this should be resolved and one method used or the paragraph needs to be rewritten to indicate that more than one way exists to estimate the weight of stone. This is what the second paragraph says: "The discussion above is accurate as far as it goes, which is only to the first significant figure. Risssa (talk) 21:52, 12 December 2012 (UTC)

Yangshan Quarry 'stone' rock-cut architecture, not a monolith in the sense of the article[edit]

Am I the only one who feels uncomfortable in including the Yangshan Quarry 'stone' as a monolith in the list? Originally, I created the various subcategories of quarried, moved and lifted monoliths to allow for the highly different amount of labour and technical expertise that was required for these different tasks. In other words, to make the list meaningful by comparing apples with apples and oranges with oranges.

However, this 'stone' defies the entire purpose of the list, since its creators never had the least chance of moving it. It was the product of a despotic, megalomanic mindset with entire disregard for the feasibility of the project. The other very large unquarried stones in the list, however, could have been moved in principle by the ancient engineers as proven by other successful translocations of the time.

I feel by keeping this stone in the list we are not far off from including all those instances of rock-cut architecture, either, like

After all, technically speaking they also constitute monoliths. I removed the Yangshan entry, thus, on the grounds of the theoretical impossibility for the engineers of the time to move this stone just one inch. It is a border-case, but this monolith should be ultimately viewed an example of immobile rock-cut architecture. PS: A more fitting list for the Yangshan stele body seems to be the list of colossal sculpture in situ. Gun Powder Ma (talk) 23:15, 30 November 2013 (UTC)

It's a stele and this reflects the sources, but the claim that it's a rock-cut architecture does not. And the discussion above shows that there is consensus to keep it. --Cold Season (talk) 18:23, 4 December 2014 (UTC)