Metsamor Castle is the remains of an old fortress located to the southwest of the Armenian village of Taronik, in the Armavir Province. It has been populated starting from the 5th millennium BC until the 18th century AD; the excavations of the tombs of Metsamor Castle began in 1965. The site is noted for its temple complexes consisted of seven sanctuaries. Neolithic stone circles dating back to ca. 5000 BC stand within the historical site, interpreted by enthusiasts of archaeoastronomy as an astronomical "observatory". The Museum of History and Archeology at Metsamor Site was opened in 1968, it is the repository of more than 22,000 items all uncovered at the site. Media related to Metsamor site at Wikimedia Commons The Armenian History", by Armenia's National Academy of Sciences "From the History of Ancient Armenia", by Dr. Suren Aivazyan "Evolution of the World Alphabets", by Dr. Armen Melkonyan
The Harhoog is a dolmen, a rectangular megalithic tomb from the Funnelbeaker culture, located near Keitum on the island of Sylt in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. Discovered in 1925, it was moved to the present site in 1954; the megalithic Harhoog burial chambers were located near the mud-flats between Keitum and Tinnum. The stones were moved to the area near the Tipkenhoog on the coast near Keitum in 1954, when Sylt Airport was under development; the chambers contain transverse sections. The graves at Harhoog are dated to the Neolithic and belonged to ancient settlements of the island's Funnelbeaker culture around 3000 BC. There were once 600 of them but today only about half of them still exist; the megalithic tombs are built with large, rough stone slabs which are arranged in different patterns. Harhoog dolmen is an extended dolmen, under Ernst Sprockhoff's six-category classification. Harhhog was discovered in 1925 during excavations of earth for the construction of the Hindenburgdamm, but was only inspected archaeologically in 1936
Zorats Karer called Karahunj, Qarahunj or Carahunge and Carenish is a prehistoric archaeological site near the town of Sisian in the Syunik Province of Armenia. It is often referred to in international tourist lore as the "Armenian Stonehenge"; the Carahunge site is on latitude of 39° 34' and longitude of 46° 01' on the mountain plateau having altitude 1770 m and occupies a territory of about 7 hectare on the left side of the Dar river canyon, the tributary of the river Vorotan. It is located on a rocky promontory near Sisian. Armenian historian Stepanos Orbelian in his book'History of Syunic' mentioned that in Tsluk region of Armenia, near town Syunic or Sisian was a village Carunge, which means in Armenian Stone Treasure or Foundational Stones; the name Carahunge is interpreted as deriving from two Armenian words: car, meaning stone, hunge or hoonch, meaning sound. Thus the name Carahunge means Speaking Stones; this interpretation is related to the fact that the stones make whistling sounds on a windy day because of multiple reach-through holes bored under different angles into the stones in prehistoric times.
In 2004, the site was named the Karahunj Observatory, by Parliamentary decree. Carahunge is known in local lore as Zorats Karer, Dik-dik Karer, Tsits Karer, meaning Vertical Stones in vernacular Armenian; the Carahunge Monument consists of the following parts: the central circle, the north arm, the south arm, N-E alley, the chord and separate standing stones. The site is rich with burial cists and standing stones - Menhirs. In total registered 223 stones; the heights of the stones range from 0.5 to 3 weight up to 10 tons. They are basalt stones, covered with moss and lichen of many colours; the inside surface of holes preserved much better. There are many broken and unnumbered stones. About 80 of the stones feature a circular hole, although only 37 of the stones, with 47 holes, are still standing, they have been of interest to Russian and Armenian archaeoastronomers who have suggested that the standing stones could have been used for astronomical observation. Seventeen of the stones were associated with observations of sunrise or sunset at the solstices and equinoxes, 14 with the lunar extremes.
However, this must remain conjectural as the holes are unweathered and may not be prehistoric in origin. The astronomical significance of megalithic structures at Zorats Karer was first explored by Armenian archaeologist Onik Khnkikyan in 1984. A year after, a hypothesis about the existence of an astronomical observatory at Zorats Karer, as well as analyses of other megalithic sites at Metzamor and Angeghakot, was made by Armenian astrophysicist Elma Parsamyan. Investigation by radiophysicist Paris Herouni and his research team during 1994-2001 led them to the now disputed conclusion that Carahunge is the world's oldest astronomical observatory. In 1999, Herouni got in touch with British-born American astronomer and archaeo-astronomer Gerald Hawkins, renowned for his analysis of Stonehenge in which he proposed its purpose as an ancient astronomical observatory. In a letter to Herouni, Professor Hawkins confirmed his Armenian colleague’s similar conclusions about Zorats Karer, stating, in particular: “I admire the precise calculations you have made.
I am most impressed with the careful work you have done, hope that the result will get recorded in literature.”Zorats Karer was investigated in 2000 by archaeologists from the Institut für Vorderasiatische Archäologie, University of Munich, as part of a field survey of prehistoric sites in southern Armenia. They identified the site as a necropolis dating from the Middle Bronze Age to the Iron Age, finding enormous stone tombs from those periods within the area. Team leader Stephan Kroll concluded that the lines of stones were the remains of a city wall from the Hellenistic-period, constructed of rubble and loam, in which the upright stones had acted as reinforcements. Archaeoastronomer Clive Ruggles wrote that'Inevitably there have been other claims—more speculative and less supportable—relating to the astronomical significance of the site. One is that it can be astronomically dated to the sixth millennium BCE and direct comparisons with Stonehenge, which few now believe was an observatory, are less than helpful.'Armenian biologist and mathematician Vachagan Vahradyan has further developed the hypothesis about the astronomical function of this archaeological complex.
A recent critical assessment found several problems with the archaeoastronomical interpretations of the site. The northeast avenue, which extends about 50 meters from the center, has been inconsistently associated with the summer solstice, the major northern lunistice, or the rising of Venus. Herouni had postulated that in order to use the holes in the megaliths for astronomical observations sufficiently precise to determine the date of the solstices, it would have been necessary to restrict the field of vision by inserting a narrow tube in the existing perforations. Without these modifications, for which there is no archaeological evidence, the claimed astronomical significance of the orientations of the holes vanishes; as a consequence, González-Garcia concluded that the archaeoastronomical claims for the site are untenable, although further investigations to determine the astronomical potential of Carahunge and similar sites are merited. In the nearby city
The Lochmaben Stone is a megalith standing in a field, nearly a mile west of the Sark mouth on the Solway Firth, three hundred yards or so above high water mark on the farm of Old Graitney in Dumfries & Galloway in Scotland. The area is known as Stormont. Together with a smaller stone it is all, left of a stone circle dating back to around 3000BC; the principal stone or megalith, referred to as the Lochmabonstone by Logan Mack in 1926, has, in the Borders context, an unsurpassed extent of history attached to it. It is an erratic, 7 feet high and 18 feet in girth and weighs ten tons, it is composed of weathered granite, exposed to severe glacial action. In these treeless flatlands this stone, given its size, would have been a distinctive landmark on the flat Solway Plain for several millennia; the Lochmaben stone has had a wide range of names attached to it over the last few millennia or so. Lochmabonstone and Old Graitney stone are amongst the most recent. In 1398 the name is'Clochmabenstane', in 1409 and 1472 the name'Loumabanestane' is recorded, with'Lowmabanstane' used in 1485 and then'Loughmabanestane' in 1494.’Cloch’ and ‘clach’ mean ‘stone’ in modern Irish and Scottish Gaelic respectively.
In Welsh, ` llech' can be a tablet or slate. The element Mabon, as in the Celtic god, is common to all of the variants and this confirms this association, as well as helping with the identification of this site with the Roman site of'Locus Maponi', as listed in the Ravenna Cosmography, it is suggested that Locus Maponi means the'Loch' or'Pool' of Mabon and this would suggest that the town of Lochmaben is the intended named site. Maporitum is another name recorded in the cosmography and given that the name relates to the Ford of Mabon and indeed the name'Solway' is most derived from the word Sul standing for the pillar or Lochmaben stone and the word Wath, of Viking origin and means to'wade', indicating a ford; the Old Gaelic cloch or Brittonic *clog element is found with the 1398 record'Clockmabanstane', this suggests that as in the modern Gaelic clach, meaning stone, the whole name may mean the'stone or burial place of Mabon'. The loss of the initial C - is 18 miles north-west; the name Clackmannan is another example where the Gaelic word is undeniably linked with a stone, in this case still on view in the town centre.
The first edition Ordnance Survey six-inch map refers to it as "Druidical circle", which the Ordnance Survey Name Book states as being composed of nine upright stones placed in an oval of about 0.5 acres. Only two of these stones are visible above the surface of the ground; the other stone stands 1.0 m high by 1.2 m in diameter in a less conspicuous position in the nearby hedge to the north east of the larger stone. The 1845'New Statistical Account' relates that a ring of large stones once stood here, enclosing an area of around half an acre, most of which were removed shortly before that date to facilitate ploughing of the site. In 1982 the stone fell over, excavations prior to its re-erection revealed that it had been set into a shallow pit. No artifacts were recovered. However, a sample of mixed Oak and Hazel charcoal taken from the lower fill of the stone-pit yielded a radiocarbon date of 3275 BC according to Aubrey Burl; the name of the stone suggests that this site was a centre of the cult of the Celtic god Mabon or Maponus.
The name is suggestive of a divine youth. He is said to have been the divine patron of the Kingdom of Rheged and dedications to his cult have so far been found at Birrens, Chesterholm and Ribchester. Mabon may have been a god of fertility: the Romans made him a British Apollo. Tolstoy sees Merlin as a chief druid carrying out ceremonies at the Clochmabenstane. Sometime during the seventh century, an unknown monk in the Monastery at Ravenna on the Adriatic coast of Italy compiled a list of all the towns and road-stations throughout the Roman Empire; the Lochmaben Stone was a well known, well recognised and located'marker' on the Scottish Marches and as such it performed a number of functions prior to the Union of the Crowns, such as arrangements for truces, exchange of prisoners, etc. Raiding parties met here before launching expeditions into England and Scottish armies assembled here before major incursions or defence operations took place, it may well have been a tribal assembly point. An army was ordered to assemble here as late as 6 February 1557.
In 1398 an exchange of prisoners took place when English and Scots representatives, the Dukes of Rothesay and Lancaster met at the Lochmaben Stone. The prisoners were released without ransoms and any, paid were to be returned, its use by the Marcher Lords or Wardens suggests that the Scots regarded the Lochmaben stone as being the southernmost limit of the Scottish realm. In 1398 an indenture was made at'Clochmabenstane' for the men of Tyndale and Redesdale to meet from Whitsunday to Michaelmas at Kershope Bridge; the Commissioners not only met here, but "gave bail for their good behaviour to one another." In 1473, the Scottish and English Ambassadors met to agree that more frequent meetings of the marcher Wardens were to be held at the six recognised sites on the marches. These were'Newbyggynfurde, Gammyllispethe, Belle and Kershopebrig and the meetings were to be held at successive venues. On the 26th. March
A megalith is a large stone, used to construct a structure or monument, either alone or together with other stones. The word megalithic describes structures made of such large stones without the use of mortar or concrete, representing periods of prehistory characterised by such constructions. For periods, the word monolith, with an overlapping meaning, is more to be used; the word megalith comes from the Ancient Greek μέγας and λίθος. Megalith denotes one or more rocks hewn in definite shapes for special purposes, it has been used to describe buildings built by people from many parts of the world living in many different periods. The term was first used in reference to Stonehenge by Algernon Herbert in 1849. A variety of large stones are seen as megaliths, with the most known megaliths not being tombs; the construction of these structures took place in the Neolithic period and continued into the Chalcolithic period and the Bronze Age. At a number of sites in eastern Turkey, large ceremonial complexes from the 9th millennium BC have been discovered.
They belong to the incipient phases of animal husbandry. Large circular structures involving carved. Although these structures are the most ancient megalithic structures known so far, it is not clear that any of the European megalithic traditions are derived from them. At Göbekli Tepe, four stone circles have been excavated from an estimated 20; some measure up to 30 metres across. As well as human figures, the stones carry a variety of carved reliefs depicting boars, lions, birds and scorpions. Dolmens and standing stones have been found in large areas of the Middle East starting at the Turkish border in the north of Syria close to Aleppo, southwards down to Yemen, they can be encountered in Lebanon, Iran, Israel and Saudi Arabia. The largest concentration can be found in southern Syria and along the Jordan Rift Valley, however they are being threatened with destruction, they date from the late Chalcolithic/Early Bronze Age. Megaliths have been found on Kharg Island and pirazmian in Iran, at Barda Balka in Iraq.
A semicircular arrangement of megaliths was found in Israel at Atlit Yam, a site, now under the sea. It is a early example, dating from the 7th millennium BC; the most concentrated occurrence of dolmens in particular is in a large area on both sides of the Jordan Rift Valley, with greater predominance on the eastern side. They occur first and foremost on the Golan Heights, the Hauran, in Jordan, which has the largest concentration of dolmen in the Middle East. In Saudi Arabia, only few dolmen have been identified so far in the Hejaz, they seem, however, to re-emerge in Yemen in small numbers, thus could indicate a continuous tradition related to those of Somalia and Ethiopia. The standing stone has a ancient tradition in the Middle East, dating back from Mesopotamian times. Although not always'megalithic' in the true sense, they occur throughout the Orient, can reach 5 metres or more in some cases; this phenomenon can be traced through many passages from the Old Testament, such as those related to Jacob, the grandson of Abraham, who poured oil over a stone that he erected after his famous dream in which angels climbed to heaven.
Jacob is described as putting up stones at other occasions, whereas Moses erected twelve pillars symbolizing the tribes of Israel. The tradition of venerating stones continued in Nabatean times and is reflected in, e.g. the Islamic rituals surrounding the Kaaba and nearby pillars. Related phenomena, such as cupholes, rock-cut tombs and circles occur in the Middle East; the most common type of megalithic construction in Europe is the portal tomb – a chamber consisting of upright stones with one or more large flat capstones forming a roof. Many of these, though by no means all, contain human remains, but it is debatable whether use as burial sites was their primary function; the megalithic structures in the northwest of France are believed to be the oldest in Europe based on radiocarbon dating. Though known as dolmens, the term most accepted by archaeologists is portal tomb; however many local names exist, such as anta in Galicia and Portugal, stazzone in Sardinia, hunebed in the Netherlands, Hünengrab in Germany, dysse in Denmark, cromlech in Wales.
It is assumed that most portal tombs were covered by earthen mounds. The second-most-common tomb type is the passage grave, it consists of a square, circular, or cruciform chamber with a slabbed or corbelled roof, accessed by a long, straight passageway, with the whole structure covered by a circular mound of earth. Sometimes it is surrounded by an external stone kerb. Prominent examples include the sites of Brú na Bóinne and Carrowmore in Ireland, Maes Howe in Orkney, Gavrinis in France; the third tomb type is a diverse group known as gallery graves. These are axially arranged chambers placed under elongated mounds; the Irish court tombs, British long barrows, German Steinkisten belong to this group. Another type of megalithic monument, the single standing stone, or menhir as it is known in France, is common throughout Europe, where some 50,000 examples have been noted; some of these are thought to have an astronomical function as a foresight. In some areas and complex alignments of such stones exist, the largest known example being located at Carnac in Brittany, France.
In parts of Britain and Ireland a common type of megalithic construct
Sacred pit of Garlo
The Sacred pit of Garlo is an archaeological site located near the village of Garlo in Pernik District, Bulgaria. It was excavated in 1972 by her team. Professor Dzhonova dates the pit around the 11th century BC and relates the site to the sacred pits found within the remains of the Nuragic civilization in Sardinia; the sacred pit was constructed in a little valley lined with many springs in prehistoric times. The southern part of the pit is dug in the ground. Seven meters long corridor with thirteen stone steps leads into a round domed room at the center over the source there is a well with a depth of 5 meters. Outside Sardinia such sites are excavated in Palestine; the sacred pit is a sophisticated device, established underground. The long axis of the well is oriented North-South bit it was constructed on the eastern slope of a hill, now above a small waterreservoir built in the 1960s; the entrance to the underground chamber is located on the east side of the device. It represents a stair of 24 stairs 1.1 m wide.
The first nine stairs are in open air, the next 15 are underground. The stair leads to an underground vaulted round circular chamber with 4.2 m. diameter. On the top of the vault there is a circular hole to the sky; the opening is 2.3 m. wide. The underground stair joins the vaulted chamber by an arched gate 2.4 m high. The construction is'almost identical' to the Funtana Coberta from Ballao in Sardinia Directly above the temple an ancient sanctuary of the sun was organised. Today the terrain of the sanctuary are covered by young forest. According to the memories of the local residents in the surrounding rocks were carved signs, a small stone basin near the temple well; that information, although acquired from residents of Village of Garlo deserve particular attention because monuments are identified with certain elements of the Nuraghe culture and formed the cult of the Moon and the complementary nature of the sacred pit. How did the construction of the sacred megalithic facility and the entire religious complex built in the Village of Garlo remains an open question for modern historians and archaeologists.
Whether immigrants from Nuraghe culture wished to have a religious facility in their new place of settlement or, local residents, led builders to build them such a facility for some reason it is difficult to claim. During the field studies conducted in the 1970s Prof. Mitova - Dzhonova's team have found archeological sites that might belong to similar sanctuaries - in villages of Berayintsi, Dolna Melna and Dolni Romantzi. According to Professor Mitova-Dzhonova in the sacred pit at Garlo was worshiped ancient deities of water, or more of the underworld water resources. Nuragic holy well Nuragic civilization
Filitosa is a megalithic site in southern Corsica, France. The period of occupation spans from the end of the Neolithic era and the beginning of the Bronze Age, until around the Roman times in Corsica; the site lies on road D57, a few hundred metres from the hamlet of Filitosa, 5 km west of Sollacaro, in the canton of Petreto-Bicchisano, arrondissement of Sartène, north of Propriano in the Corse-du-Sud département. It is located on a hill; the site was discovered in 1946 by the owner of Charles-Antoine Cesari. Systematic excavations started in 1954 by Roger Grosjean. Finds of arrow heads and pottery date earliest inhabitation to 3300 BC. Around 1500 BC, 2-3 metre menhirs were erected, they have been carved with representations of human faces and weapons. Roger Grosjean thought the menhirs may have been erected to ward off an invasion of a group of people called the Torréens; however this was unsuccessful: the menhirs were cast down, broken up and reused in some cases as building material by the Torréens.
The Torréens built circular stone structures on the site, known as torri, which may have been used as temples. The torri are remarkably well preserved; this theory had been disputed by works of F. De Lanfranchi, M. C. Weiss and Gabriel Camps. In total, about twenty menhirs of various times were counted in Filitosa, they constitute half of the total staff of these monuments in Corsica. The site of Filitosa is approached down a track through an ancient olive grove; the first monument to be seen is surrounding wall. The visitor comes upon the central monument. Various hut platforms are all around, the track leads a further 50m to the Western Monument or torri. From there, one can enjoy a view down the hill to a stone alignment of five megaliths, set around the base of a 2000-year-old olive tree. Behind the olive tree is the quarry, where the megaliths were extracted from. Pictures Filitosa official website