Though they've been ravaged by a history of armed conflict, earthquakes and the natural erosion and desecration of time, the Baalbek ruins continue to incite awe in everyone fortunate to visit them. Located near the Lebanon capital of Beirut, these ruins mark the remains of an ancient Roman temple complex which served as one of the most important holy sites in the history of civilization. Balbeek Megaliths provides a brief, but illuminating tour of the ruins as it attempts to piece together the site's colorful history.
Located amongst the remnants is the Temple of Jupiter, the structure that sparks the most boisterous debates within the archeological community. Much is unknown about the origins, design or construction of the temple. The temple is believed to be over 2,000 years old, and its building blocks are composed of large slabs of lime stone; in fact, they are the largest stones ever used for construction with each exceeding over a thousand tons.
The film provides a wealth of footage from the site. Viewers are able to soak in the features that make these ruins so awe-inspiring both in their construction and the lingering mysteries surrounding them. The intricate stone carvings, imposing structures and painstaking accuracy of each slab joint aside, the sources of greatest fascination are the heavy blocks that make up the temple's foundations.
Archeologists have long debated the practicality of the site. Who ordered their construction? How were they cut? Perhaps most puzzling of all is how these mammoth stones managed to be transported. The film attempts to consider each of these questions, and run through a variety of potential theories. The recorded history of this type of construction is sketchy at best, so many of the conclusions that have been reached over the years have been speculative at best. Still, the film traces other Roman landmarks throughout history that bear similarities to the Baalbek ruins in the hopes of drawing more definitive comparisons.
Certainly, Baalbek Megaliths is a treat for fans of Ancient Roman architecture. But it's also a revealing tribute to the pursuit of truth surrounding the histories of the world that have long remained elusive.
Directed by: Igor Alekseev