World’s Oldest Astronomical Site Found In Africa: It is believed that this 7,000-year-old stone circle was built to mark the summer solstice and the beginning of the annual monsoon season. As well as that, it is the world’s oldest known astronomy site. Ancient civilizations all across the world have been constructing massive stone circles to mark the seasons and align them with the Sun and the stars for thousands of years.
Winter, spring, and summer were all anticipated by these early calendars, which enabled civilizations to plan when they would sow their seeds and reap the harvest of their crops. They were also employed as a symbol of joy and sacrifice at the same time.
The mystery surrounding megaliths – gigantic, ancient stone monuments — can be particularly perplexing in our modern era, when many people have no connection to, or vision of, the night sky. Some people also feel that they are mystical or that they have been divined by extraterrestrials.
Several ancient civilizations, on the other hand, maintained track of time by seeing which constellations rose at sunset, which was analogous to reading a gigantic celestial clock. Others calculated the Sun’s position in the sky on the summer and winter solstices, the longest and shortest days of the year, and the length of the lunar cycle in the spring and fall, among other things.
There are over 35,000 megaliths in Europe alone, including various stone circles, tombs (or cromlechs), and other standing stones that are aligned with the stars. In the Atlantic and Mediterranean regions, the majority of these buildings date back 6,500 to 4,500 years, indicating that they were built during this time period.
This group of sites includes Stonehenge, an English monument that is considered to be approximately 5,000 years old. It is the most well-known of these sites. Stonehenge, albeit still thousands of years old, may have been one of Europe’s newest stone constructions at the time of its construction.
Because of the date and striking resemblance between these widely dispersed European sites, some historians believe that the regional tradition of erecting megaliths began along the coast of France, where it has since spread throughout Europe. It subsequently expanded throughout the surrounding area, eventually reaching Great Britain and the United Kingdom.
Even these basic sites, however, are hundreds of years younger than the world’s oldest known stone circle, Nabta Playa, which dates back thousands of years. Nabta Playa is a city in Africa, approximately 700 miles south of Egypt’s Great Pyramid of Giza, and is a popular tourist destination. Nabta Playa is the world’s oldest stone circle, having been constructed more than 7,000 years ago. It is also the world’s oldest astronomical observatory, according to certain estimates. It was constructed by cattle-worshiping nomadic people to honor the summer solstice and the onset of the monsoon season, according to tradition.
According to J. McKim Malville, a professor emeritus at the University of Colorado and an archaeoastronomy expert, “Here is human beings’ first genuine attempt to forge some serious link with the heavens.” Read the whole article at Astronomy.
“It was the beginning of the era of observational astronomy,” he continues. “What in the world did they think about it?” says the author. Were they under the impression that these stars were gods? Also, what types of ties did they have with the constellations and the stones?”
The Discovery of Nabta Playa is a Significant Event In The History Of The World
In the 1960s, Egypt was building a huge dam project along the Nile River, which would drown many ancient archaeological sites in the region. As a result of the intervention of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), funding was provided to assist in the removal of notable structures as well as the search for new locations until they were lost forever.
Fred Wendorf, a well-known American archaeologist, on the other hand, saw an alternate explanation. He made the decision to travel beyond the Nile River in pursuit of the ancient sources of Egyptian civilization.
During a time when everyone else was staring at temples, [Wendorf] wanted to look at the desert, according to Malville. “He marked the beginning of the predynastic period and the establishment of the ancient kingdom.”
A Bedouin — or nomadic Arab — guide named Eide Mariff happened upon a group of what seemed to be gigantic stone megaliths while traveling in the Sahara in 1973 by happenstance. In order to get to the location, Mariff drove Wendorf, with whom he had been working since the 1960s, about 60 kilometers away from the Nile River. Romuald Schild, Wendorf’s long-time friend, and business partner has a different take on the discovery story. This section of desert, he maintains, is where the entire team stopped for a restroom break in 1973 when passing through the area. The discovery of megalithic traces occurred at this phase in the investigation.
Wendorf initially mistook them for natural formations when he first encountered them. However, he soon recognized that the region had once been a massive lakebed, which would have damaged all of the rocks he had discovered. During the next several decades, he would return numerous times to the city. During excavations in the early 1990s, Wendorf and a team of excavators, which included Polish archaeologist Romuald Schild, discovered a circle of stones that appeared to be aligned with the stars in some inexplicable way.