January 5, 2011

Video: Armenia's "Stonehenge"

An interesting CNN video on which may be the oldest stone ring of the world, in modern day Armenia:

From Pileta de Prehistoria.


  1. The case for continuity between early Neolithic Armenia and the Megalithic culture of the Atlantic region is really fascinating. It isn't rock solid (pardon the pun) but it isn't easily dismissed as nothing either. (I don't give much weight to the historical reference cited at the end of the story, however, since it was too remote from the event in question and the genetics aren't a good fit). Even if it wasn't a population genetic connection, the case for a cultural connection that coincided with the transfer of agricultural culture from the Near East seems pretty plausible. Perhaps megalithic astronomy is a necessary part of a Neolithic package as it developed independently in the New World and China, and semi-independently in Egypt.

  2. "It isn't rock solid (pardon the pun)"...

    You are pardoned as it was funny. :)

    I would not draw anyhow an automatic parallelism between West Asian (or other) stone circles and Atlantic Megalithism, which is defined not by these, but by dolmens (trilithons), which is a burial practice first documented in Neolithic Portugal (a few centuries after the arrival of Neolithic). However, locally, they incorporate eventually other architectures, most of which have probably their origins in the Eastern Mediterranean (stone rings, tholoi, artificial cave burials probably too) or Central Europe (henges, known in the continent as rondels).

    I think we should be able to make a distinction between these different elements, even if they appear mixed here and there.

    "Perhaps megalithic astronomy is a necessary part of a Neolithic package as it developed independently in the New World and China, and semi-independently in Egypt".

    It's a pity that you do not speak Spanish (it seems) because my other post today features a most interesting documentary on Magdalenian astronomy, which obviously pre-dates any Neolithic package.

    While I'm unsure on which directions astronomical knowledge flowed in prehistoric Europe, I must mention an obscure Greek legend that attributes the "invention" of Astronomy to the first Atlantean king Uranus (seemingly interchangeable with Atlas, at least in this case). However the reference to Atlantis may point to a late myth, rather than a genuine old one.

    In any case, I do think that there is some evidence for Paleolithic astronomy. However this "control of time" may have become of greater importance after Neolithic, for obvious reasons.

  3. "It's a pity that you do not speak Spanish (it seems)"

    Correct. My wife lived in Spain for a while and speaks Spanish almost fluently (my children get most of their chores dictated to them in that language, in addition to a few bits of Korean), and my daughter from her mother and from about five or six years of Spanish classes is not totally clueless in Spanish (although my son who is younger isn't as sharp in it), but I know almost nothing in Spanish (I studied French in addition to a little Latin and Italian, mostly in connection with vocal music, in school), and they wouldn't understand anything that technical.

  4. Well, I guess you can always purchase the original English language video if you are very interested (link). Sorry about that. The documentary is very interesting in any case but it is not available online in English as far as I can tell.


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