|24 May 2010
Where the ancients Macedonians studied the sun and moon
Macedonia is is full of relics of times past: the country has an estimated 4,485 archaeological sites from all historical periods, according to Pasko Kuzman, of the country's Cultural Heritage Protection Office. Jewel in the crown is Kokino, discovered in the mountains near Kumanovo in 2001 by local archaeologist Jovica Stankovski. It is a 4,000-year-old megalithic observatory used in the Bronze Age for studying the sun and moon.
The site, at an altitude of more than 1,000m and with a 100m diameter, is is ranked by NASA as the fourth oldest ancient observatory in the world, after Abu Simbel in Egypt, Stonehenge in Britain and Angkor Wat in Cambodia. Research showed that the observatory had a specific place for monitoring the stars and the sun, as well as specific holes through which the movement of the sun and the moon could be recorded.
According to physicist Gjore Cenev, the ancient observatory worked by using special stone markers to map the movement of the sun and moon on the eastern horizon. With parts of the observatory well preserved, it is still possible to mark the position of the sun during the summer solstice, he said. Cenev, who has carried out detailed analysis of the site, wrote in a paper on the subject: "The observatory defines the four main positions of the Moon and three main positions of the Sun during a year, the autumnal and vernal equinox and winter and summer solstice," he added.
There are theories that the Kokino Megalithic Observatory was part of a larger city after a network of 10 temples was discovered nearby. Stone drawings and figurines have also been discovered and if Kokino is identified as an ancient civilization, it could the oldest known in the Balkans.
Source: CNN News (20 May 2010)
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