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.