The Georgia Guidestones is a large granite monument in Elbert County, Georgia, USA. A message comprising ten guides is inscribed on the structure in eight modern languages, and a shorter message is inscribed at the top of the structure in four ancient languages’ scripts: Babylonian, Classical Greek, Sanskrit, and Egyptian hieroglyphs.
The structure is sometimes referred to as an “American Stonehenge”, though in comparison to the massive plinths of Stonehenge and the empty space of Salisbury plain surrounding that monument, the Guidestones are of a noticeably smaller scale.
The monument is almost 20 feet (6.1 m) tall, and made from six granite slabs weighing more than 240,000 pounds (110,000 kg) in all. 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.
In June 1979, an unknown person or persons under the pseudonym R. C. Christian hired Elberton Granite Finishing Company to build the structure. One popular hypothesis is that the author pseudonym may be a tribute to the legendary 14th-century founder of Rosicrucianism, Christian Rosenkreuz.
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, Chinese, and Russian.
1. Maintain humanity under 500,000,000 in perpetual balance with nature
2. Guide reproduction wisely – improving fitness and diversity
3. Unite humanity with a living new language
4. Rule passion – faith – tradition – and all things with tempered reason
5. Protect people and nations with fair laws and just courts
6. Let all nations rule internally resolving external disputes in a world court
7. Avoid petty laws and useless officials
8. Balance personal rights with social duties
9. Prize truth – beauty – love – seeking harmony with the infinite
10. Be not a cancer on the earth – Leave room for nature – Leave room for nature
A few feet to the west of the artifact, 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 speaks of a time capsule buried under the tablet, but the positions on the stone reserved for filling in the dates on which the capsule was buried and is to be opened are missing, so it is not clear whether the time capsule was ever put in place. Each side of the tablet is perpendicular to one of the cardinal directions, and is inscribed so that the northern edge is the “top” of the inscription.
The complete text of the explanatory tablet is detailed below. The accompanying image shows the overall layout. The tablet is somewhat inconsistent with respect to punctuation, and also misspells “pseudonym”. The original spelling, punctuation, and line breaks in the text have been preserved in the transcription which follows.
At the center of each tablet edge is a small circle, each containing a letter representing the appropriate compass direction (N, S, E, W).
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 the names of four ancient languages, one per edge. Starting from the top and proceeding clockwise, they are:
* Babylonian cuneiform
* Classical Greek
* Egyptian hieroglyphics
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.