The Bronze Age of Armenia – Solar System Model

Archaeologists discovered the unique bronze model of the Solar system dated back 12-11th centuries BC in Sevan basin Armenia, in the 1950s. This is one of the oldest geocentric Solar system models preserved till nowadays.

One can find a diverse range of rock inscriptions and drawings of celestial bodies and stars all over the territory of Armenia. Astronomical petroglyphs were discovered on the Dzavakhk range of Sevsar mountain and Gegham mountains. These petroglyphs included ancient drawings of the Earth, hemispheres, the Moon, the Sun, and other celestial bodies.

One of the most amazing findings was the ancient model of the Solar system, discovered on the drained bottom of Lake Sevan, in Lchashen.

Lchashen is in the northern range of the Gheghama mountains. In the 1950s the level of waters in lake Sevan decreased. Therefore archaeologists were able to discover the ancient village there. Now it is one of the oldest archaeological memorials on the territory of Armenia. According to research, Lchashen originated 4,000 years BC.

This artifact, found in Lchashen, was made of bronze in 12-11th centuries BC. Nowadays it has become the symbol of the History Museum of Armenia.

What do the elements of this ancient solar system model mean?

Inside the circles at the bottom, there is a symbol of a hatchet, which symbolizes the Earth in astronomy even nowadays. Around this hatchet, one can see two circles. Presumably, one stands for the sphere of water and the other one for the atmosphere, surrounding the Earth. The Sun is above them all.

Much like many other ancient models of the Solar system, this one is also geocentric. However, notable that thousand years BC ancient people, living on the territory of Armenia, depicted the Earth as a circle, not flat. Between the Earth and the Sun, they placed Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, and the Moon. All these celestial bodies are visible to the naked eye.

This artifact and all astronomical petroglyphs, prove that ancient inhabitants of Armenia had quite broad and truthful knowledge about the Earth, the Moon, and the Universe. However, the perception of the Universe was still geocentric with the Earth in the middle and all other planets around it both on rock carvings and bronze artifacts. One can discover the same description of the geocentric Solar system also in medieval Armenian manuscripts.

Nevertheless, we still don’t know the purpose of this bronze model of the Solar system created a thousand years BC.

Eugenia Evoyan

One thought on “The Bronze Age of Armenia – Solar System Model

  1. The axis between sun and earth represents the celestial polar axis or celestial equator. The oval or diamond around the axis represents the ecliptic equator in summer v winter. But the item is probably not practical except in general emblematic and education and status roles. Similar metal grids were and are used in Ethiopian Christian rituals. Perhaps the Armenian versions picture a Christianised folk astronomy. The same semi-conscious impulse that seeks order in the sky and calendar, produced the Sephiroth of the Kabbalah. I discuss archetypal recurrents and subconscious behaviour in my book Stoneprint (2016). See

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