Georgia Guidestones facts for kids
|Location||Elbert County, Georgia, US|
|Height||19 ft 3 in (5.87 m)|
|Opening date||March 22, 1980|
The Georgia Guidestones are a granite monument erected in 1980 in Elbert County, Georgia, in the United States. A set of ten guidelines is inscribed on the structure in eight modern languages and a shorter message is inscribed at the top of the structure in four ancient language scripts.
The monument stands at an approximate elevation of 750 feet (230 m) above sea level, about 90 miles (140 km) east of Atlanta, 45 miles (72 km) from Athens, Georgia and 9 miles (14 km) north of the center of the city of Elberton.
One slab stands in the center, with four arranged around it. A capstone lies on top of the five slabs, which are astronomically aligned. An additional stone tablet, which is set in the ground a short distance to the west of the structure, provides some notes on the history and purpose of the guidestones. The structure is sometimes referred to as an "American Stonehenge". The monument is 19 feet 3 inches (5.87 m) tall, made from six granite slabs weighing 237,746 pounds (107,840 kg) in all. The anonymity of the guidestones' authors and their apparent advocacy of population control, eugenics, and internationalism have made them an object of controversy and conspiracy theories.
In June 1979, a man using the pseudonym R. C. Christian approached the Elberton Granite Finishing Company on behalf of "a small group of loyal Americans", and commissioned the structure. Christian explained that the stones would function as a compass, calendar, and clock, and should be capable of "withstanding catastrophic events". Joe Fendley of Elberton Granite assumed that Christian was "a nut" and attempted to discourage him by providing a quote for the commission which was several times higher than any project the company had previously taken, explaining that the guidestones would require additional tools and consultants. To Fendley's surprise, Christian accepted the quote. When arranging payment, Christian said that he represented a group which had been planning the guidestones for 20 years and which wanted to remain anonymous.
Christian delivered a scale model of the guidestones and ten pages of specifications. The 5-acre (2-hectare) land was apparently purchased by Christian on October 1, 1979, from farm owner Wayne Mullinex. Mullinex and his children were given lifetime cattle grazing rights on the guidestones site.
On March 22, 1980, the monument was unveiled before an audience variously described as 100 or 400 people. Christian later transferred ownership of the land and the guidestones to Elbert County.
In 2008, the stones were defaced with polyurethane paint and graffiti with slogans such as "Death to the new world order". Wired magazine called the defacement "the first serious act of vandalism in the guidestones' history".
In September 2014, an employee of the Elbert County maintenance department contacted the Federal Bureau of Investigation when the stones were vandalized with graffiti including the phrase "I Am Isis, goddess of love".
A message consisting of a set of ten guidelines or principles is engraved on the Georgia Guidestones in eight different languages, one language on each face of the four large upright stones. Moving clockwise around the structure from due north, these languages are: English, Spanish, Swahili, Hindi, Hebrew, Arabic, Traditional Chinese, and Russian.
- Maintain humanity under 500,000,000 in perpetual balance with nature.
- Guide reproduction wisely — improving fitness and diversity.
- Unite humanity with a living new language.
- Rule passion — faith — tradition — and all things with tempered reason.
- Protect people and nations with fair laws and just courts.
- Let all nations rule internally resolving external disputes in a world court.
- Avoid petty laws and useless officials.
- Balance personal rights with social duties.
- Prize truth — beauty — love — seeking harmony with the infinite.
- Be not a cancer on the Earth — Leave room for nature — Leave room for nature.
A few feet to the west of the monument, an additional granite ledger has been set level with the ground. This tablet identifies the structure and the languages used on it lists various facts about the size, weight, and astronomical features of the stones, the date it was installed, and the sponsors of the project. It also refers to a time capsule buried under the tablet, but blank spaces on the stone intended for filling in the dates on which the capsule was buried and is to be opened have not been inscribed, so it is uncertain if the time capsule was ever actually put in place.
The complete text of the explanatory tablet is detailed below. The tablet is somewhat inconsistent with respect to punctuation and misspells the word "pseudonym". The original spelling, punctuation, and line breaks in the text have been preserved in the transcription which follows (letter case is not). At the top center of the tablet is written:
The Georgia Guidestones
Center cluster erected March 22, 1980
Immediately below this is the outline of a square, inside which is written:
Let these be guidestones to an Age of Reason
Around the edges of the square are written translations to four ancient languages, one per edge. Starting from the top and proceeding clockwise, they are: Babylonian (in cuneiform script), Classical Greek, Sanskrit and Ancient Egyptian (in hieroglyphs).
On the left side of the tablet is the following column of text:
1. Channel through stone
indicates celestial pole
2. Horizontal slot indicates
annual travel of sun
3. Sunbeam through capstone
marks noontime throughout
Author: R.C. Christian
(a pseudonyn) [sic]
Sponsors: A small group
of Americans who seek
the Age of Reason
Placed six feet below this spot
To be opened on
The words appear as shown under the time capsule heading; no dates are engraved.
Below the two columns of text is written the caption "GUIDESTONE LANGUAGES", with a diagram of the granite slab layout beneath it. The names of eight modern languages are inscribed along the long edges of the projecting rectangles, one per edge. Starting from due north and moving clockwise around so that the upper edge of the northeast rectangle is listed first, they are English, Spanish, Swahili, Hindi, Hebrew, Arabic, Chinese, and Russian. At the bottom center of the tablet is the following text:
Additional information available at Elberton Granite Museum & Exhibit
The four outer stones are oriented to mark the limits of the 18.6 year lunar declination cycle. The center column features a hole drilled at an angle from one side to the other, through which can be seen the North Star, a star whose position changes only very gradually over time. The same pillar has a slot carved through it which is aligned with the Sun's solstices and equinoxes. A 7⁄8in (22 mm) aperture in the capstone allows a ray of sun to pass through at noon each day, shining a beam on the center stone indicating the day of the year.
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