13 March, 2018 Syunik Region 2911 Views

Karahunj ancient observatory

Karahunj (also “Zorats Karer”) is located near to Sisian City, a collection of standing stones huddled like soldiers on a wind-blown hill. All of them are made of basalt. Each is between a half a meter to 3 meters tall, their bases are up to one and a half meters wide, and they weigh up to ten tons each.

Ancient astronomical observatory
The 204 stones have been ascribed with mystical, fertility and cosmic powers. The site is considered by many to be an ancient astronomical observatory, while it also includes over a hundred Bronze Age tumulus graves, with one rich grave in the center of the observatory. The stones, many with eyeholes carefully carved at their top ends, challenge the very dating of early astronomy. If proven true, a current controversial dating of the stones (5000 BCE) mean they predate England's Stonehenge; and they confirm what some people already believe: that Armenia is the birthplace of the zodiac. 

Some astronomers are sure the site is an astronomical instrument. And the site was used to plot sunrises, moon phases, and even more incredible, the first calendar. This is not so far-fetched. To plot the sky, you have to have an idea of time. These stones—many of which look to the azimuths, were used at specific times of the year to chart solar and lunar phases. Those with eye-holes point exactly to the point where they occur at exact times of the year. 
However some archeologists are unsure of these claims, focusing on the Bronze Age artifacts found at the gravesites.
A bird's-eye view of the site is impressive. The complex is centered by around 39 stones in the configuration of an egg, with its main axis stretching 43 meters East to West, and 37 meters from North to South. 

Armenian Stonehenge
"The word 'Karahundj' is a complex word, made up of 'Kara' (from stone) and 'hundj', which could be translated literally into stone-henge (Armenian and English are both Indo-European languages with many of the same word roots). However, the words “hunj” and “henge” have no known root meaning, and no modern equivalent. 
 

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