As one of the greatest astronomers of the 20th century, Academician Viktor Amazaspovich Ambartsumian, once said, a human distinguishes itself from a pig, among other things, by sometimes looking at the stars. This characteristic became evident in deep antiquity.
From the last century, following the studies of Academician Paris Misakovich Heruni, it was known that the age of Karahunj (the ancient complex Zorats Karer near the city of Sisian) in Armenia was around 7,500 years old.
According to the latest data, after the publication of an article by archaeoastronomer Aik Malkhasyan last year, it turns out that the age of Karahunj is significantly greater; it is over 30,000 years old. Thus, it is much older not only than Stonehenge, but also most of the world’s oldest monuments dating back to the end of the Neolithic and the beginning of the Bronze Age.
Aik Malkhasyan’s research shows changes in the tilt of Deneb and other stars over the time of Earth’s precession for the past 40,000 years. It was thus possible to establish that the structure, angles of placement schemes, and other parts of the monument directly coincide with stellar objects from 32,300 years ago. Such a correspondence is ruled out for any other periods.
This circumstance already proves that the designers of the complex carried out precise measurements and amazingly accurate design and creation work on the monument according to the ancient principle: “As above, so below” (Law of Correspondence of Thoth-Hermes Trismegistus).
This means that Karahunj is not just a row of megaliths with holes through which one can observe the sky, but also the configuration of the monument itself is based on the principle of stellar correspondence, where the structure of the earthly object is based on measurements of the positioning of celestial bodies.
Around the same time that Aik Malkhasyan published his sensational article, last summer, an expedition of scientists from the Byurakan Observatory named after V. Ambartsumian and the Armenian National University of Architecture and Construction was conducted, the results of which will be announced soon.
The cosmic purpose of Karahunj was revealed in Paris Heruni’s book “Armenians and Ancient Armenia”. Over the past quarter-century, the world has started to acknowledge that the ancient inhabitants of Armenia were among the first in the world to observe the starry sky.
Opinions that one of the oldest centers for the emergence of astronomical knowledge was the Neolithic settlements of Armenia and Asia Minor have been expressed for a long time. For example, the ancient Greeks wrote that the constellations maps existing in Greece and Egypt had their predecessors.
As early as the first half of the 20th century, leading historians of astronomy concluded that the people who divided the sky into constellations lived between 36° and 42° north latitude. American astronomer William Tyler Olcott pointed out a hundred years ago: “The people who invented the ancient figures of the constellations probably lived in the Euphrates valley, as well as in the area around Mount Ararat…”
The astronomical purpose of the Karahunj monument was first discussed in the 1980s by archaeologist PhD Onik Khnkikyan and well-known astrophysicist of the Byurakan Observatory, Elma Parsamyan.
An Entire “Punzh” (Armenian for “bouquet, bunch”) of Karahunj
Paris Heruni notes that the medieval Armenian historian Stepanos Orbelian, in his work “History of Syunik” (13th century), mentions the village of Karahunj near the modern city of Sisian. It is there that the megalithic complex is located, which today is recognized worldwide as the oldest observatory. The name Karahunj was quite common in Ancient Armenia.
Approximately 30 kilometers southeast of the ancient complex, near the city of Goris, there is a village named Karahunj, and 60 and 90 kilometers to the northeast, in Artsakh, there are two more villages with the same name. Moreover, as Heruni writes, near one of them, there are artificial holes made in the rocks, which have not yet been studied.
The name Karahunj (Քարահունջ) consists of two Armenian words “kar” (քար), which means “stone”, and “hunj” (հունջ) or “hunch” (հունչ), which means “sounding”, “speaking”, so the name “Karahunj” can be translated as “sounding stones” or “speaking stones”. There are also Karahunj villages in Vedi, Lori and Western Armenia.
How were these stones used in ancient times?
The question arises: what can all this mean? After all, every star watcher knows that you can do this easily and calmly, just lying on the grass and looking at the boundless expanse of the night sky. And there is no need to drag large stones and arrange them according to star correspondence. Why drill holes in stones, and what can sound in them after that?
The most surprising thing is that drilling holes was not the end of the matter. Recesses were carved into the megaliths, which are quite sturdy basalt, so that the observer could comfortably position themselves on them for a long period of time.
In the video “Who destroys Karahunj and why?” architect Tovmas Badalyan – one of the activists of the “Save Karahunj” movement, founded by the daughter of Paris Misakovich – Nana Heruni, from the 29th minute in detail shows, walking around all the stones, how they were used and why they have recesses in certain places.
Ովքեր Են Ոչնչացնում Քարահունջը եւ Ինչու․ Նանա Հերունու Մեկնաբանությունը
His arguments are not only very convincing in a dispute with skeptics who believe that ancient Armenians could not build observatories at all, but also allow us to understand what happened here many thousands of years ago.
Of course, Karahunj, like all similar megalithic monuments, was not an observatory in the modern sense of the word. Purely theoretically, one could assume that optical crystal lenses could be inserted into the round holes, which were already being made in Ancient Egypt and Babylon, but such lenses have not yet been found in Armenia.
So, they looked with the naked eye, and quite a long time. Why did our ancestors look at the stars all night? Based on logic and common sense, only one conclusion can be drawn: they needed it and it had some important meaning in their lives. Of course, their ideas about the cosmos were much different from ours.
But to understand the meaning of their practical observations, it is first necessary to understand the motivations and representations of the ancients. We still have a lot to find out and rethink here.
by Armen Petrosyan
Translated by Vigen Avetisyan
Image by armeniasputnik.am