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Sat Jun 20, 2020, 08:36 PM

Nabta Playa: The World's First Astronomical Site Was Built in Africa and Is Older Than Stonehenge

This 7,000-year-old stone circle tracked the summer solstice and the arrival of the annual monsoon season. It's the oldest known astronomical site on Earth.

By Eric BetzJune 20, 2020 6:00 PM



The stone circle of Nabta Playa marks the summer solstice, a time that coincided with the arrival of monsoon rains in the Sahara Desert thousands of years ago. (Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

For thousands of years, ancient societies all around the world erected massive stone circles, aligning them with the sun and stars to mark the seasons. These early calendars foretold the coming of spring, summer, fall and winter, helping civilizations track when to plant and harvest crops. They also served as ceremonial sites, both for celebration and sacrifice.

These megaliths ó large, prehistoric monuments made of stone ó may seem mysterious in our modern era, when many people lack a connection with, or even view of, the stars. Some even hold them up as supernatural, or divined by aliens. But many ancient societies kept time by tracking which constellations rose at sunset, like reading a giant, celestial clock. And others pinpointed the sunís location in the sky on the summer and winter solstice, the longest and shortest days of the year, or the spring and fall equinox.

Europe alone holds some 35,000 megaliths, including many astronomically-aligned stone circles, as well as tombs (or cromlechs) and other standing stones. These structures were mostly built between 6,500 and 4,500 years ago, largely along the Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts.

The most famous of these sites is Stonehenge, a monument in England thatís thought to be around 5,000 years old. Though still old, at that age, Stonehenge may have been one of the youngest such stone structures to be built in Europe.

More:
https://www.discovermagazine.com/the-sciences/nabta-playa-the-worlds-first-astronomical-site-was-built-in-africa-and-is?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+discovercrux+%28The+Crux%29

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Reply Nabta Playa: The World's First Astronomical Site Was Built in Africa and Is Older Than Stonehenge (Original post)
Judi Lynn Jun 20 OP
tblue37 Jun 20 #1
Loki Liesmith Jun 20 #2
Igel Jun 20 #3

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Sat Jun 20, 2020, 08:38 PM

1. K&R and thanks. nt

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Sat Jun 20, 2020, 10:17 PM

3. Known.

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