They're called the Georgia Guidestones and they actually look like the Ten Commandments. The five 16-feet-tall granite walls overlook a barren knoll in northeastern Georgia, supporting a 25,000-pound capstone. But what's even more astonishing than their massiveness (four of the five slabs weigh more than 20 tons each!) is what is inscribed on the rock: carved on the polished granite are directions in eight different languages instructing the survivors of a supposed apocalypse on how to properly rebuild society.
The directives (written in Russian, English, Spanish, Babylonian cuneiform, classical Greek, Egyptian hieroglyphics, Sanskrit, Swahili, Hindi, Hebrew and Arabic) range in theme and scope, urging humans to "avoid petty laws and useless officials," "balance personal rights with social duties," "guide reproduction wisely—improving fitness and diversity," "leave room for nature," "protect people and nations with fair laws and just courts" and "unite humanity with a living new language," among others.
Given they were they are built and their positioning, the Georgia Guidestones also serve as a compass, a calendar and a clock.
The monument's origin story is a long and convoluted one and, although no one knows who really commissioned the project and to what intent, the general consensus is that in June of 1979, a man going by the pseudonym Robert C. Christian approached the Elberton Granite Finishing Company representing a "small group of loyal Americans" that were intent on installing a rather complex stone monument. Over four decades later, the details of the commission and the history of the art piece have yet to be fully discovered.
Although a famous tourist attraction and a common subject of study among historians and artists alike, the monument obviously resonates in 2020 especially, a year filled with rather apocalyptic events (and it's only June). That being said, we find the inscribed instructions to be pretty sensible ones, reminding us of the power of peace, unity and logic when trying to be the best versions of ourselves. That message should echo at any point in time, in every country of the world.
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