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Granite is one of the hardest rocks on Earth. Much of what is mined around the world is crushed for gravel or cut into countertops, sidewalk curbs, and building stones. But in Elberton, Georgia—where, 325 million years ago, a great mass of magma rose through the earth’s crust, cooled, and solidified—90 percent of the granite coming out of the area’s numerous quarries is crafted into cemetery memorials. One could say death keeps Elberton itself alive.
The Georgia Guidestones, a mysterious 19-foot granite monument near Elberton, dictates 10 philosophical commandments (engraved in eight languages) for governing humanity in concurrence with nature. Show up at noon to see the sun illuminate an engraving of that day’s date.