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Zorats Karer

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Zorats Karer

Carahunge
Քարահունջ
Zorats Karer is located in Armenia
Zorats Karer
Shown within Armenia
Alternate name Zorats Karer, Carenish, Dik-dik karer
Location near Sisian, Syunik Province, Armenia
Coordinates
Type possibly a necropolis or observatory
History
Founded construction date unknown
Periods Middle Bronze Age to Iron Age
Site notes
Condition Is being protected by the government.[1]
Website carahunge.com

Zorats Karer (}

}}: Զորաց Քարեր, locally Դիք-դիք քարեր Dik-dik karer),[2] also called Karahunj, Qarahunj or Carahunge and Carenish (}

}}: Քարահունջ և Քարենիշ) is a prehistoric archaeological site near the town of Sisian in the Syunik Province of Armenia. The phrase Zorats Karer is literally translated from Armenian as Army Stones. It is also often referred to in international tourist lore as the 'Armenian Stonehenge.'[3]

Location

The Carahunge site is on latitude of 39° 34' and longitude of 46° 01' on the mountain plateau having altitude 1770 m and occupies a territory of about 7 hectare on the left side of the Dar river canyon, the tributary of the river Vorotan (at 2 km). It is located on a rocky promontory near Sisian.[4]

Name

Armenian historian Stepanos Orbelian in his book 'History of Syunic' (I-XII centuries) mentioned that in Tsluk (Yevalakh) region of Armenia, near town Syunic or Sisian was a village Carunge,[5] which means in Armenian Stone Treasure or Foundational Stones.

The name Carahunge is interpreted as deriving from two Armenian words: car (or kar) (}

}}: քար), meaning stone, and hunge or hoonch (}

}}: հունչ), meaning sound. Thus the name Carahunge means Speaking Stones.

This interpretation is related to the fact that the stones make whistling sounds on a windy day, presumably because of multiple reach-through holes bored under different angles into the stones in prehistoric times.

In 2004, the site was officially named the Karahunj (Carahunge) Observatory, by Parliamentary decree (Government decision No. 1095-n, July 29, 2004).

Carahunge is also known in local lore as Zorats Karer (Զորաց Քարեր), Dik-dik Karer (Դիք-դիք քարեր), and Tsits Karer (Ցից Քարեր), meaning Vertical Stones in vernacular Armenian.

Stones

Map showing the layout of the upright stones at Carahunge

The Carahunge Monument consists of the following parts: the central circle, the north arm, the south arm, N-E alley, the chord (crossing the circle) and separate standing stones.

The site is rich with stone settings, burial cysts and standing stones - Menhirs. In total registered 223 stones.[6]

The heights of the stones range from 0.5 to 3 m (above ground) and weight up to 10 tons. They are basalt (andesit) stones, eroded by time and covered with moss and lichen of many colours. The inside surface of holes preserved much better. There are also many broken and unnumbered stones.

About 80 of the stones feature a circular hole, although only 37 of the stones, with 47 holes, are still standing. They have been of interest to Russian and Armenian archaeoastronomers who have suggested that the standing stones could have been used for astronomical observation. Seventeen of the stones were associated with observations of sunrise or sunset at the solstices and equinoxes, and 14 with the lunar extremes.[7] However, this must remain conjectural as the holes are relatively unweathered and may not even be prehistoric in origin.[8]

Investigations

The astronomical significance of megalithic structures at Zorats Karer was first explored by Armenian archaeologist Onik Khnkikyan in 1984.[9] A year after, a hypothesis about the existence of an astronomical observatory at Zorats Karer (Carahunge), as well as analyses of other megalithic sites at Metzamor and Angeghakot, was made by Armenian astrophysicist Elma Parsamyan.[10]

Investigation by radiophysicist Paris Herouni and his research team during 1994-2001 led them to the now disputed conclusion that Carahunge is the world's oldest astronomical observatory.[11] In 1999, Herouni got in touch with British-born American astronomer and archaeo-astronomer Gerald Hawkins, renowned for his analysis of Stonehenge in which he proposed its purpose as an ancient astronomical observatory. In a letter to Herouni, Professor Hawkins confirmed his Armenian colleague’s similar conclusions about Zorats Karer, stating, in particular: “I admire the precise calculations you have made. I am most impressed with the careful work you have done, and hope that the result will ultimately get recorded in literature.”[12]

Zorats Karer was investigated in 2000 by archaeologists from the Institut für Vorderasiatische Archäologie, University of Munich, as part of a field survey of prehistoric sites in southern Armenia. They identified the site as a necropolis dating mainly from the Middle Bronze Age to the Iron Age, finding enormous stone tombs from those periods within the area. Team leader Stephan Kroll also concluded that the lines of stones were actually the remains of a city wall, possibly from the Hellenistic-period, that had been constructed mostly of rubble and loam, and in which the upright stones had acted as reinforcements.[13][14]

Archaeoastronomer Clive Ruggles wrote that 'Inevitably there have been other claims—more speculative and less supportable—relating to the astronomical significance of the site. One is that it can be astronomically dated to the sixth millennium BCE and direct comparisons with Stonehenge, which few now believe was an observatory, are less than helpful.'[8]

Armenian biologist and mathematician Vachagan Vahradyan has recently further developed the hypothesis about the astronomical function of this archaeological complex.[15]

A recent critical assessment found several problems with the archaeoastronomical interpretations of the site. The northeast avenue, which extends about 50 meters from the center, has been inconsistently associated with the summer solstice, the major northern lunistice, or the rising of Venus.[7] Harouni had postulated that in order to use the holes in the megaliths for astronomical observations sufficiently precise to determine the date of the solstices, it would have been necessary to restrict the field of vision by inserting a narrow tube in the existing perforations. Without these modifications, for which there is no archaeological evidence, the claimed astronomical significance of the orientations of the holes vanishes. As a consequence, González-Garcia concluded that the archaeoastronomical claims for the site are untenable, although further investigations to determine the astronomical potential of Carahunge and similar sites are merited.[16]

Museum

In the nearby city of Sisian, there is a small museum dedicated to findings in the area, including palaeolithic petroglyphs found on mountain tops in the area, and grave artefacts form the Bronze Age burial site with over 200 shaft graves.

Gallery

See also

References

Notes

-- Module:Hatnote -- -- -- -- This module produces hatnote links and links to related articles. It -- -- implements the and meta-templates and includes -- -- helper functions for other Lua hatnote modules. --


local libraryUtil = require('libraryUtil') local checkType = libraryUtil.checkType local mArguments -- lazily initialise Module:Arguments local yesno -- lazily initialise Module:Yesno

local p = {}


-- Helper functions


local function getArgs(frame) -- Fetches the arguments from the parent frame. Whitespace is trimmed and -- blanks are removed. mArguments = require('Module:Arguments') return mArguments.getArgs(frame, {parentOnly = true}) end

local function removeInitialColon(s) -- Removes the initial colon from a string, if present. return s:match('^:?(.*)') end

function p.findNamespaceId(link, removeColon) -- Finds the namespace id (namespace number) of a link or a pagename. This -- function will not work if the link is enclosed in double brackets. Colons -- are trimmed from the start of the link by default. To skip colon -- trimming, set the removeColon parameter to true. checkType('findNamespaceId', 1, link, 'string') checkType('findNamespaceId', 2, removeColon, 'boolean', true) if removeColon ~= false then link = removeInitialColon(link) end local namespace = link:match('^(.-):') if namespace then local nsTable = mw.site.namespaces[namespace] if nsTable then return nsTable.id end end return 0 end

function p.formatPages(...) -- Formats a list of pages using formatLink and returns it as an array. Nil -- values are not allowed. local pages = {...} local ret = {} for i, page in ipairs(pages) do ret[i] = p._formatLink(page) end return ret end

function p.formatPageTables(...) -- Takes a list of page/display tables and returns it as a list of -- formatted links. Nil values are not allowed. local pages = {...} local links = {} for i, t in ipairs(pages) do checkType('formatPageTables', i, t, 'table') local link = t[1] local display = t[2] links[i] = p._formatLink(link, display) end return links end

function p.makeWikitextError(msg, helpLink, addTrackingCategory) -- Formats an error message to be returned to wikitext. If -- addTrackingCategory is not false after being returned from -- Module:Yesno, and if we are not on a talk page, a tracking category -- is added. checkType('makeWikitextError', 1, msg, 'string') checkType('makeWikitextError', 2, helpLink, 'string', true) yesno = require('Module:Yesno') local title = mw.title.getCurrentTitle() -- Make the help link text. local helpText if helpLink then helpText = ' (help)' else helpText = end -- Make the category text. local category if not title.isTalkPage and yesno(addTrackingCategory) ~= false then category = 'Hatnote templates with errors' category = string.format( '%s:%s', mw.site.namespaces[14].name, category ) else category = end return string.format( '%s', msg, helpText, category ) end


-- Format link -- -- Makes a wikilink from the given link and display values. Links are escaped -- with colons if necessary, and links to sections are detected and displayed -- with " § " as a separator rather than the standard MediaWiki "#". Used in -- the template.


function p.formatLink(frame) local args = getArgs(frame) local link = args[1] local display = args[2] if not link then return p.makeWikitextError( 'no link specified', 'Template:Format hatnote link#Errors', args.category ) end return p._formatLink(link, display) end

function p._formatLink(link, display) -- Find whether we need to use the colon trick or not. We need to use the -- colon trick for categories and files, as otherwise category links -- categorise the page and file links display the file. checkType('_formatLink', 1, link, 'string') checkType('_formatLink', 2, display, 'string', true) link = removeInitialColon(link) local namespace = p.findNamespaceId(link, false) local colon if namespace == 6 or namespace == 14 then colon = ':' else colon = end -- Find whether a faux display value has been added with the | magic -- word. if not display then local prePipe, postPipe = link:match('^(.-)|(.*)$') link = prePipe or link display = postPipe end -- Find the display value. if not display then local page, section = link:match('^(.-)#(.*)$') if page then display = page .. ' § ' .. section end end -- Assemble the link. if display then return string.format('%s', colon, link, display) else return string.format('%s%s', colon, link) end end


-- Hatnote -- -- Produces standard hatnote text. Implements the template.


function p.hatnote(frame) local args = getArgs(frame) local s = args[1] local options = {} if not s then return p.makeWikitextError( 'no text specified', 'Template:Hatnote#Errors', args.category ) end options.extraclasses = args.extraclasses options.selfref = args.selfref return p._hatnote(s, options) end

function p._hatnote(s, options) checkType('_hatnote', 1, s, 'string') checkType('_hatnote', 2, options, 'table', true) local classes = {'hatnote'} local extraclasses = options.extraclasses local selfref = options.selfref if type(extraclasses) == 'string' then classes[#classes + 1] = extraclasses end if selfref then classes[#classes + 1] = 'selfref' end return string.format( '
%s
', table.concat(classes, ' '), s )

end

return p-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- -- Module:Hatnote -- -- -- -- This module produces hatnote links and links to related articles. It -- -- implements the and meta-templates and includes -- -- helper functions for other Lua hatnote modules. --


local libraryUtil = require('libraryUtil') local checkType = libraryUtil.checkType local mArguments -- lazily initialise Module:Arguments local yesno -- lazily initialise Module:Yesno

local p = {}


-- Helper functions


local function getArgs(frame) -- Fetches the arguments from the parent frame. Whitespace is trimmed and -- blanks are removed. mArguments = require('Module:Arguments') return mArguments.getArgs(frame, {parentOnly = true}) end

local function removeInitialColon(s) -- Removes the initial colon from a string, if present. return s:match('^:?(.*)') end

function p.findNamespaceId(link, removeColon) -- Finds the namespace id (namespace number) of a link or a pagename. This -- function will not work if the link is enclosed in double brackets. Colons -- are trimmed from the start of the link by default. To skip colon -- trimming, set the removeColon parameter to true. checkType('findNamespaceId', 1, link, 'string') checkType('findNamespaceId', 2, removeColon, 'boolean', true) if removeColon ~= false then link = removeInitialColon(link) end local namespace = link:match('^(.-):') if namespace then local nsTable = mw.site.namespaces[namespace] if nsTable then return nsTable.id end end return 0 end

function p.formatPages(...) -- Formats a list of pages using formatLink and returns it as an array. Nil -- values are not allowed. local pages = {...} local ret = {} for i, page in ipairs(pages) do ret[i] = p._formatLink(page) end return ret end

function p.formatPageTables(...) -- Takes a list of page/display tables and returns it as a list of -- formatted links. Nil values are not allowed. local pages = {...} local links = {} for i, t in ipairs(pages) do checkType('formatPageTables', i, t, 'table') local link = t[1] local display = t[2] links[i] = p._formatLink(link, display) end return links end

function p.makeWikitextError(msg, helpLink, addTrackingCategory) -- Formats an error message to be returned to wikitext. If -- addTrackingCategory is not false after being returned from -- Module:Yesno, and if we are not on a talk page, a tracking category -- is added. checkType('makeWikitextError', 1, msg, 'string') checkType('makeWikitextError', 2, helpLink, 'string', true) yesno = require('Module:Yesno') local title = mw.title.getCurrentTitle() -- Make the help link text. local helpText if helpLink then helpText = ' (help)' else helpText = end -- Make the category text. local category if not title.isTalkPage and yesno(addTrackingCategory) ~= false then category = 'Hatnote templates with errors' category = string.format( '%s:%s', mw.site.namespaces[14].name, category ) else category = end return string.format( '%s', msg, helpText, category ) end


-- Format link -- -- Makes a wikilink from the given link and display values. Links are escaped -- with colons if necessary, and links to sections are detected and displayed -- with " § " as a separator rather than the standard MediaWiki "#". Used in -- the template.


function p.formatLink(frame) local args = getArgs(frame) local link = args[1] local display = args[2] if not link then return p.makeWikitextError( 'no link specified', 'Template:Format hatnote link#Errors', args.category ) end return p._formatLink(link, display) end

function p._formatLink(link, display) -- Find whether we need to use the colon trick or not. We need to use the -- colon trick for categories and files, as otherwise category links -- categorise the page and file links display the file. checkType('_formatLink', 1, link, 'string') checkType('_formatLink', 2, display, 'string', true) link = removeInitialColon(link) local namespace = p.findNamespaceId(link, false) local colon if namespace == 6 or namespace == 14 then colon = ':' else colon = end -- Find whether a faux display value has been added with the | magic -- word. if not display then local prePipe, postPipe = link:match('^(.-)|(.*)$') link = prePipe or link display = postPipe end -- Find the display value. if not display then local page, section = link:match('^(.-)#(.*)$') if page then display = page .. ' § ' .. section end end -- Assemble the link. if display then return string.format('%s', colon, link, display) else return string.format('%s%s', colon, link) end end


-- Hatnote -- -- Produces standard hatnote text. Implements the template.


function p.hatnote(frame) local args = getArgs(frame) local s = args[1] local options = {} if not s then return p.makeWikitextError( 'no text specified', 'Template:Hatnote#Errors', args.category ) end options.extraclasses = args.extraclasses options.selfref = args.selfref return p._hatnote(s, options) end

function p._hatnote(s, options) checkType('_hatnote', 1, s, 'string') checkType('_hatnote', 2, options, 'table', true) local classes = {'hatnote'} local extraclasses = options.extraclasses local selfref = options.selfref if type(extraclasses) == 'string' then classes[#classes + 1] = extraclasses end if selfref then classes[#classes + 1] = 'selfref' end return string.format( '
%s
', table.concat(classes, ' '), s )

end

return p
  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ a b
  8. ^ a b
  9. ^ Khnkikyan, Onik. Zorats Karer of Sisian (in Armenian: “Սիսիանի Զորաքարերը”). Armenia’s Nature Magazine No. 4. 1984. pp. 33-34.
  10. ^ Parsamian, Elma S. About the possible astrological role of megalithic rings in Angeghakot: Collection of scientific articles (in Armenian: “Անգեղակոթի մեգալիտիկ կառուցվածքի աստղագիտական նշանակության վերաբերյալ” and Russian: “О возможном астрономическом назначении мегалитических колец Ангелакота”). Reports of Byurakan Observatory No. 57. The Academy of Sciences of the Armenian SSR. 1985. pp. 101-103. ISSN 0370-8691 (http://byurakan.asj-oa.am/351/)
  11. ^ Paris Herouni, Armenians and Old Armenia, Yerevan, 2004.
  12. ^ Herouni, Paris (2004). Armenians and Old Armenia, p. 24.
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^ Vahradyan, Vachagan & Vahradyan, Marineh. “About the Astronomical Role of ‘Qarahunge’ Monument” in “Armenians and the World History” (http://www.anunner.com/vachagan.vahradyan/About_the_Astronomical_Role_of__%E2%80%9CQarahunge%E2%80%9D_Monument_by_Vachagan_Vahradyan,_Marine_Vahradyan)
  16. ^
Bibliography

External links

  • Zorats Karer (Karahunj)
  • Carahunge
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