The Georgia Guidestones is a granite monument in Elbert County, Georgia, USA. A message clearly conveying 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 languages' scripts: Babylonian, Classical Greek, Sanskrit and Egyptian hieroglyphs.
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. 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.
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.
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 speaks of a time capsule buried under the tablet, but the fields 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 (in cuneiform script), Classical Greek, Sanskrit and Ancient Egyptian (in 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 the year
Author: R.C. Christian
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.
On the right side of the tablet is the following column of text (metric conversions added):
1. OVERALL HEIGHT - 19 FEET 3 INCHES [5.87 m].
2. TOTAL WEIGHT - 237,746 POUNDS [107,840 kg].
3. FOUR MAJOR STONES ARE 16 FEET,
FOUR INCHES [4.98 m] HIGH, EACH WEIGHING
AN AVERAGE OF 42,437 POUNDS [19,249 kg].
4. CENTER STONE IS 16 FEET, FOUR-
INCHES [4.98 m] HIGH, WEIGHS 20,957
POUNDS [9,506 kg].
5. CAPSTONE IS 9-FEET, 8-INCHES [2.95 m]
LONG, 6-FEET, 6-INCHES [1.98 m] WIDE;
1-FOOT, 7-INCHES [0.48 m] THICK. WEIGHS
24,832 POUNDS [11,264 kg].
6. SUPPORT STONES (BASES) 7-FEET,
4 INCHES [2.24 m] LONG 2-FEET [0.61 m] WIDE.
1 FOOT, 4-INCHES [0.41 m] THICK, EACH
WEIGHING AN AVERAGE OF 4,875
POUNDS [2,211 kg].
7. SUPPORT STONE (BASE) 4-FEET,
2½ INCHES [1.28 m] LONG, 2-FEET, 2-INCHES [0.66 m]
WIDE, 1-FOOT, 7-INCHES [0.48 m] THICK.
WEIGHT 2,707 POUNDS [1,228 kg].
8. 951 CUBIC FEET [26.9 m³] GRANITE.
9. GRANITE QUARRIED FROM PYRAMID
QUARRIES LOCATED 3 MILES [5 km] WEST
OF ELBERTON, GEORGIA.
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, Mandarin 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 through which the North Star can be seen regardless of time, as well as a slot that is aligned with the Sun's solstices and equinoxes. A 7/8" 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.
The Georgia Guidestones are located on a hilltop in Elbert County, Georgia, approximately 90 miles (140 km) east of Atlanta, 45 miles (72 km) from Athens, and 9 miles (14 km) north of the center of Elberton. The stones are standing on a rise a short distance to the east of Georgia Highway 77 (Hartwell Highway), and are visible from that road. Small signs beside the highway indicate the turnoff for the Guidestones, which is identified by a street sign as "Guidestones Rd." It is located on the highest point in Elbert County.
Elbert County owns the Georgia Guidestones site. According to the Georgia Mountain Travel Association's detailed history: "The Georgia Guidestones are located on the farm of Mildred and Wayne Mullenix..." The Elbert County land registration system shows what appears to be the Guidestones as County land purchased on October 1, 1979.
The monument was unveiled in March 1980, in front of 100 people. Another account specifies March 22, 1980 and says 400 people attended.