Category Archives: History

Lady Liberty

Lady Liberty

Currently our internal population growth rate is actually negative. It is only through immigration that we have a modest overall growth rate of .6% per annum. Our economic growth as measured by GDP has averaged over 3% per annum over the past two decades. Combined with the aging of our population and the slowing of the birthrate we need immigrants to bolster our labor force.

Prejudice against immigrants is not a new phenomenon. You might remember the movie “Gangs of New York” where the earliest immigrants considered themselves the true “Americans” and all later arrivals (like the Irish) were considered as intruders. I do wonder what the Eastern Native Americans were thinking?

My opinion is that we all need to be reminded of the words of Lady liberty:

“Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

Emma Lazarus – 1883

My Eight Wonders of the World (con’t) Baalbek

The hilltop of Tell Baalbek, part of a valley to the east of the northern shows signs of almost continual habitation over the last 8–9000 years.

 The complex is located on an immense raised plaza erected 5 m (16 ft) over an earlier T-shaped base consisting of a podium, staircase, and foundation walls These walls were built from about 24 monoliths, at their lowest level weighing approximately 330 tons each. The tallest retaining wall, on the west, has a second course of monoliths containing the famous “Three Stones” a row of three stones, each over 19 m (62 ft) long, 4.3 m (14 ft) high, and 3.6 m (12 ft) broad, cut from limestone. They weigh approximately 880 tons each. A fourth, still larger stone is called the Stone of the Pregnant Woman: it lies unused in a nearby quarry 2,600 ft from the town. Its weight, is estimated at 1,100 tons.  A fifth, still larger stone weighing approximately 1,300 – 1,650 tons lies in the same quarry.

 The Three Stones weighing about 880 tons each.

How were these stones lofted in place?

 Who did it and when?

 Massive 1,100 ton Stone of the Pregnant woman  that remains near the quarry.

 

Largest man made stone block at Baalbek estimated at 1,300 – 1,650 tons!

My Eight Wonders (Con’t) Sacsayhuaman & Ollantaytambo

My Eight Wonders (Con’t) Sacsayhuaman & Ollantaytambo

Sacsayhuaman (AKA the Fortress) is located approximately 990 feet above the city of Cusco, Peru (elevation: 11,152 ft). Current accepted theory is that it was constructed by the Inca’s circa 1500 CA. Keep in mind that the Inca civilization only lasted for 98 years (1438 – 1533 CA). The theory is that the massive stones were quarried over ten km away across a valley and a river. They were dragged using brut force to the site (some of the slopes from Cusco to the site exceed 40 degrees!) and are carved to fit together so precisely that not even paper will fit in the joints. No mortar was used.

                                                         I’m not the only person who thinks this theory is bizarre. I have had the opportunity to visit the site on two occasions and have a third trip planned.

The Largest stone is estimated to weigh 300 tons. Some of the stones have over a dozen angles that required precise matching with all of the adjacent stones. Regardless of when this project occurred or who accomplished the feat it is absolutely amazing and one that I doubt we could reproduce even with our current technology. 

The main quarries of Ollantaytambo (see below) were located at Kachiqhata, in a ravine across the Urubamba River some 5 km from the town. The construction and preciseness is identical to that at Sacsayhuaman. How did they transport stones exceeding 50 tons from a site on the mountain across the river?