Karahunj – Three Stones Instrument, measuring the Latitude and size of the earth

Karahunj - Three Stones InstrumentAnother unique Astronomical Instrument in Karahunj attracted my attention since first expedition. It is the ensemble of Stones N!N! 60, 62, 63 standing along NS direction and located at the beginning of the South Arm. The Stones N! 60 and 62 have Holes directed to different elevation angles and through which the top of the Stone N! 63 is visible (Fig. 35, 36, 37).

It was in equinox day, 1994, during the f-st expedition, when we made observations through Hole in Stone N! 62, how the Sun came to the top of Stone N! 63 exactly in midday. The Stone N! 63 (which is apropos alike the Aries) at the said moment acquired the head!

The direction of Hole in Stone N! 62 to the top of Stone N! 63 makes the angle about 39.50 apropos of vertical, Le. equal to the latitude of place. Thus, using this Instrument, the Karahunj astronomers measured the geographical latitude of place (with accuracy 30″).

They also measured the beginning (on March 21) of the year (with accuracy 2 sec.) either in the midday or at the moment of Sunrise using the Hole on the back of Stone N! 63 directed to Sunrise point in equinox.

So they could find out that year consists of about 365.25 days and made corrections of calendar (for the day, month and year duration) and came to the ”fixed” one. Besides these they could even during one year measure the Equinox Anticipation (0.83′ per year) and find out Precession of Earth Axis (see Item 1.22).

The Stone N! 60 was used to help to fix and maintain the position of the top of Stone N! 63, the prolonged stability of which was very important. Stone N! 63 perhaps was used also as Sundial and Sun-Calendar.

During our IV expedition at equinox September 21, 1997, a piece of mirror was fixed (by clay) in the Hole on the back of Stone N! 63 (Fig. 38) and reflected Sun spot which moved more than 4 cm per min. on a screen at a distance of 10m from the Stone.

So it was possible for old astronomers to measure the Sun movement with good accuracy by Right Ascension (angle a) and Declination (0). Sure enough, in Karahunj there were special Sundials and Calendars with gnomons, which we have not found yet (or they were destroyed)” A fragment of Carahunge stones painted by Spartak G. Safian is shown in Fig. 25a.

Karahunj astronomers knew that Earth has a ball-form. To be sure for 100% they had to measure the latitude also in other latitudes, better on distance of ± equal angles Aq > from the Karahunj latitude

There are facts that they did it, for A<p equal up to ± 10°, ± 16° (see below, Item 1.33). So, Armenians knew the ball-form of the Earth more than 7500 years ago. The famous Armenian astronomer, mathematician and philosopher of VII century AD Annania Shirakatsi in his book “Cosmology and Chronology” writes that heathen Armenian philosophers affirmed that Earth is ball-formed, and people and animals live on all its sides.

A very interesting illustration of this old knowledge is one prehistoric engraving in Armenia, carved on mountain rocks near Lake Sevan, about V millennium BC, see Fig. 40. The information about Earth’s ball-form came to Europe first in Medieval period from Pythagoras (VI century BC) who till his age of 50 years lived and learned knowledge in Armenia and only after that came back to Greece.

Being able to measure latitude and knowing the ball-form of Earth, old Armenian scientists could measure also the size of the Earth. For this it was enough for them to measure the length of meridian part, say in limit Acp = 10 (or about 110 km)” with error ± l’ (or about 2 km) which is about 20/0. The value of 7t = 3.14 they could find experimentally with error about 1%**. Then they could calculate the Earth radius as:

which is very good result (the real value is about 6370 km).

An extract from the book “Armenians and Ancient Armenia” by Paris Heoruni.

To date, The Prehistoric Wonder in Armenia Karahunj is included in the Top Ancient Sites for Stargazing in National Geographic


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