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Sunday, 5 June 2011

Armenian Stonehenge - Karahunge

Here is an archeological news from Armenia.  In 2003 on our way from Yerevan to Garabagh, our bus stopped for a few seconds and our tour guide pointed outside telling us to look to our left and watch grouping of stones which they call it Kara-hunge. She gave a brief explanation.  By the time I could situate myself by the window to watch the stones the bus had moved from the scene. I was astounded that she didn't pay more attention to the importance of that stones.  

Today I received this email about Armenian Stonehenge and I'd like to share it with you. It is about the same grouping of the stones that our tour guide pointed out casually.  Why not to spend a few minutes browsing the clip and to learn about another mystery from ancient times.

Armenian Stonehenge by: Rick Ney

Armenia, located in the Caucasian Mountains on the Black Sea 
between Russia and Turkey, contains some of the most 
significant cultural examples of sacred geometry, as well as 
other remarkable prehistoric structures, such as the 
"stonehenge" at Karahundj. Rick Ney explores their cultural 
They sit like soldiers on a hill, huddled in formation. The 204 
stones near Sissian have been ascribed with mystical, fertility 
and cosmic powers, but rarely have ancient monuments caused 
such a sensation in astronomical circles.  
These simple stones stretched out along the crest of a hill overlooking the Sissian River challenge 
the very dating of early astronomy and the answer to the question, "Who were the first 
astronomers?" If proven true, a current controversial dating of the stones at Karahundj predate 
England's Stonehenge, they predate the Babylonian's claim to being the first astronomers, and 
they confirm what some people already suspect: that Armenia is the birthplace of the zodiac, and 
perhaps the beginning of navigation and the concept of time.  

Ancient Astronomy at Metsamor 
Pretty amazing claim for a group of rough-cut stones that have been almost ignored for centuries. 
Not so to Elma Parsamian and Paris Herouni, both who have taken a keen interest in the complex 
about 5 kilometers from Sissian. Parsamian, an astral-physicist at the Byurakan Observatory and 
Internationally renowned lecturer on Astronomical History, and Herouni, the director of the first 
optical-radio telescope, have both crusaded to bring the stones at Karahundj to the attention of the 
astronomical world, and they are about to succeed. Astronomers from Europe and the US are 
showing increasing interest in the complex, and several expeditions have already taken place, 
confirming much of what these two conjecture.  
It should be no surprise to anyone who knows something of Armenia's history that astronomy is 
such an important part of the national character. Sun symbols, signs of the zodiac, and ancient 
calendars predominated in the region while the rest of the world was just coming alive, culturally 
speaking. Egypt and China were still untamed wilderness areas when the first cosmic symbols 
began appearing on the side of the Geghama Mountain Range around 7000 BC. At Metsamor (ca 
5000 BC), one of the oldest observatories in the world can be found. It sits on the southern edge of 
the excavated city, a promontory of red volcanic rocks that juts out like the mast of a great ship 
into the heavens. Between 2800 and 2500 BCE at least three observatory platforms were carved 
from the rocks. The Metsamor observatory is an open book of ancient astronomy and sacred 
geometry. For the average visitor the carvings are indecipherable messages. With Elma Parsamian, 
the first to unlock the secrets of the Metsamor observatory as a guide, the world of the first 
astronomers comes alive.  

Rick Ney, the author of this article, has been living and working in Armenia since 1992, in education, humanitarian aid and development. Rick Ney has written the first guide book to Armenia in the post Soviet era.