Thousands of years ago, probably during the Chalcolithic period, residents of the Golan Heights got together to move almost 40,000 tons of the local basalt stone in order to construct a massive stone circle often dubbed as ‘the Stonehenge of the Levant’.
Rujum el Hiri (which translates as ‘the heap of stones of the wild cat’) is also known in Hebrew as Gilgal Refaim – wheel of the giants. Its outer stone circle is 520 feet in diameter, with walls originally 8 feet high. Four further concentric stones circles lie within and at its centre – an ancient tomb.
Theories as to the megalith’s original function are varied and include the possibility that it may have been used for worship at the summer and winter solstices, or as a calendar. The photographs below were taken around sunrise on the morning of the summer solstice.