The ancient cyclopean masonry in Italy
«A striking monument of the cultural era that has no equal, is in the vicinity of the ancient town of Latium; it is so wonderful that it can be put on a par with the constructions of the ancient Egyptians, and, right, it is worth spending many days on the tedious journey to see him.»
Such lines in the middle of the XIX century dedicated to the Italian town of Alatri is one of the best connoisseurs of Italy, the historian Ferdinand Gregorovius traveled the whole world. You might think that this monument is a giant stone wall, — so struck the great researcher of history, really was not in the «land of the Romans», but in distant Peru.
Wall in Alatri (Italy) (left) and the wall at Sacsayhuaman (Peru) (right). The resemblance is evident even in the details. The great stones laid in the wall according to the principle of the polygon without using a connective solution
Someone today wants to get acquainted with the picturesque ruins of an ancient culture, about which almost nothing is known, will not have to make a tiring trip. Some two hours by car from Rome extends the so-called Ciociaria, «earth sandals», spacious valley of the Sacco Anagni, framed by the picturesque Northern slopes of the mountains Lepinski Monti and Monti Ernici Ausoni.
Towns located in this area are among the oldest in Italy. In their center usually flaunt cyclopean walls, built in the pre-Roman era. The most well-preserved and picturesque wall of this kind is located in Alatri. The city in our days surrounded on one side by a giant wall with a length of approx. 2 km away.
The second ring of walls with Acme form, the arc is perched on a rocky peak above the city centre, designed in the Gothic style.
To get to the ancient Acropolis through five massive, well-preserved gate. The most impressive among them Port Areopago (or Porta Maggiore), which height is 4.50 m and a width of 2.70 m. the Area of the Acropolis, having the form of an egg is 19 060 sq. m, and the height of the surrounding stone walls in some places reaches 17 m.
The Acropolis of the city of Alatri. The Small Gate (Porta Minore)
The Acropolis of the city of Alatri. Great Gate (Porta Maggiore)
This truly cyclopean wall its huge stone monoliths amazes even worldly-wise contemporaries. Only one South-Eastern corner of the wall consists of fourteen enormous monoliths and involuntarily evokes associations with buildings in Peru.
Eyes immediately catch two features, reminiscent of a megalithic pre-Inca era in South America. For example, the walls of the Acropolis of Alatri you can compare with giant walls of Sacsayhuaman. As it turns out, the largest stone blocks of the lower ring of the walls of Sacsayhuaman have a height of 5 m, width 5 m and thickness of 2.5 m.
According to calculations, their weight is about 360 tons, which corresponds to the mass of wide-body Airbus with a full load. Here and there, a natural question arises: how transported these monoliths (it certainly used to be a major technical challenge even with the use of draft animals)?
These impressive buildings stood for many thousands of years, withstood the tumult of the elements, hurricanes and even earthquakes, built without cement, clay or any other mortar. The joints between the blocks and in our days are so dense that they cannot put a knife blade.
The Acropolis of Alatri’s town (Porta Maggiore)
The Acropolis of the city of Alatri. Wall
Gregorovius rightly wrote:
«Seeing and beating the length and breadth of these Titanic black stone buildings, preserved so well that their age is not counted by many thousands of years, and some years, I was struck by the power of the creative forces of man, which amazes me every time at the sight of the Roman Coliseum».
The construction of the ancient inhabitants of Latium, to join the fight against Rome, immediately catch the eye of everyone at the sight of the scenic landscapes Ciociaria. When the gentle October sun fills the area with a Golden light, to admire the beauty of nature come here many of the Romans.
The ruins of Alba Fucens (Abruzzo)
For this wonderful pore they have even a special name — ottobrate gotapi (Roman October). Today it’s hard to say if that was one of the reasons why the people of Guernica in the VI century BC, decided to found his capital, or it was based more on strategic and religious grounds.
Latinum or Latium (lat. Latium) region in ancient Italy, the ancestral home of the modern Latins. Its territory is currently part of a larger administrative territorial formation of modern Italy, Lazio.
We still do not know much about the builders and the history of this city of cyclopean monoliths, for Guernica did not know the alphabet. Probably in their culture was dominated by pronounced features of the rural way of life. Since the early bronze age (CA. 2000 BC) peoples who lived in this area of the coast region Latium had boat connections with Sardinia and Spain, and it formed one of the highly developed cultures of the Eastern Mediterranean.
The ancient Roman city of Cosa (Tuscany)
But new skills almost no effect on the lifestyle and lifestyle of people of the Neolithic period. Technical equipment of the inhabitants of Central Italy has improved only on the threshold of the next Millennium. Trade in those days special did not matter, before the emergence of a viable society was still far off, and the formation of the state structure was not the question.
People lived in modest mud huts with thatched roofs and led the life of shepherds and ploughmen in those years, when the Etruscans came the first rudiments of the hierarchy of power. Guernica, as well as other tribes that inhabited Italy in those days were United in a close-knit community, which lasted only for the duration of the war and religious festivals.
Traces of their culture in the period V—IV centuries BC, were destroyed or assimilated by the Roman conquerors. However, the cyclopean fortifications, the construction of which was careful planning and organization of work, survived and continued to exist. What could motivate the poor pastoral nomads erect beside their ramshackle huts giant stone structures?
The Acropolis of Ferentino (Lazio)
Where they borrowed their knowledge in the field of construction? Why they forgot about the works, to ensure their survival, and devoted all their energies to the construction of these megalithic monsters? Who and what convinced them to start construction? These and other such questions arise not only in Alatri.
The city of Ferentino, attracting tourists for its temples, monastery and picturesque ancient streets and another from the fourth century serves as a Bishop’s residence, seven centuries before it was invaded by the young Roman Republic and included in its composition. The base of the town is, apparently, to the V or VI century BC.
The Acropolis Of Ferentino.It shows three stages of construction. Pre-Roman cyclopean (below), then the Roman and the medieval. According to one version, there their hand the Etruscans.
For example, the gate of Porto Sanguinaria history of the town can be traced, like in the context of the geological layers. The upper part consists mainly of rubble stone, which was widely used in the Middle ages, the arches of hewn stone and the door of overlap belong to the Roman age (I century BC), and the lower part, the enormous masonry Foundation walls date back to the time of Guernica.
Apparently, this construction technique was known to the neighbors of Guernica — tribe of Wolski. On the slope Lepinski mountains is the town of ségny, which is more than two and a half millennia.
H. Henning wrote about this town: «In the middle Ages ségny is sometimes served as the papal residence. The city in our days keeps the typical medieval character. But the most interesting attraction of it dates back to antiquity. Ségny surrounds almost completely preserved ring of walls from the huge stone monoliths of irregular shape, which refers to the Vi—V centuries BC».
San Felice Circeo (Lazio)
Similarly, the ruins of the ancient Arpino (near Civitavecchia) and Norby (Norms) preserved to us the remains of the cyclopean walls of Wolski. Suffice it to say that the height of the gate they reached 8 m. interestingly, in the era after the construction of the walls for Norby was characterized by a system of city streets, parallel or intersecting at right angles.
This is the creators plan for the city guided by the principles of urban design set out in the V century BC Ippodamos of Miletus. Apparently Wolski in that era had established contacts with the Greek city-States. This conclusion is quite real.
Could the principle used for the layout of the city centre, similar to be the basis of the construction plan of the cyclopean walls? Here, making some adjustments and clarification, could you repeat the question Erich von Däniken, and put them in the course of excavations of the monuments and rock walls in the Hittite city Hattusa (modern Turkey): «the same can be seen in Peru. So, same teacher, same results?».
A similar question should be put to the embarrassment of the venerable archaeologists. But there are exceptions. One of them — Professor Marcel ome. He’s still in the fifties asked the question, who is able to fill the missing link in the explanation of gigantism common to many ancient cultures of the world. His inductive method in the end gave the Professor the idea that the peoples who lived in the «dark ages», could affect the aliens-aliens.
Thus, the know-how for the construction of cyclopean walls, which was owned by Wolski and Guernica, from the perspective of Marseille oehme and Erich von Däniken, is another pebble in the mosaic of global searches prehistoric contacts between cultures.