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No. 81: May-Jun 1992

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The Latte Stones

Latte, shaped like truncated pyramids When one thinks of megaliths, Stonehenge, Carnac, and the other classic sites of Europe come to mind. In actuality, megalithic ruins of sorts are to be found almost everywhere. In Oceania, for example, we have the Latte Stones found decorating many of the Mariana Islands in Micronesia:

"Looking a bit like immense bird-baths, the Latte are shaped like truncated pyramids (halenges) capped with enormous hemispherical stones (tasas). They range in height from 5 to 20 feet with circumferences of up to 18 feet and weights that have been estimated at up to 30 tons. The columns are found throughout the Marianas, usually in double rows of up to six stones."

Are the Latte Stones burial monuments or, as some are convinced, merely supports for the dwellings important personages in ancient Micronesia? But why would anyone build a house 20 feet above the ground? Even the Micronesians scoff at the idea. Instead they attribute the Latte Stones to the taotaomona, the spirits of the "before-time" people!

The Latte Stones are so old that even when Magellan discovered the Marianas in 1521, no one remembered what they had been used for. (Davis, Esther Payne; "The Strange Latte Stones of Guam," World Explorer, 1:23, Spring/Summer 1992.)

Reference. Scientific opinions concerning the Latte stones can be found in our handbook: Ancient Man. Details here.

From Science Frontiers #81, MAY-JUN 1992. � 1992-2000 William R. Corliss