Ancient Astronomy in Armenia - 2007

Ancient Astronomy in Armenia

The Armenian highland is one of the ancient cradles of civilisation. Many investigators of the history of astronomy , having no facts to hand, mainly by logical approach came to the conclusion that the ancient inhabitants of Armenia not only knew, but also took part in the formation of ancient astronomy (Maunder, 1906, Olcott, 1914). Thus Olcott (1914) wrote: "Astronomical facts correspond with historical and archaeological investigations and prove that people who have invented the ancient figures of constellations probably lived in the valley of the Euphrates , as well as in the region near the mountain Ararat." Maunder (1906), investigating the question of the origin of the constellations, wrote:

"People, who divided the sky into constellations, most probably lived between 36 and 42 degrees of the northern latitude, so neither Egypt nor Babylon could be the motherland of creation of constellations. Calculating in what place the centre of this empty region coincides with the North Pole, we got the figure 2800 BC, which is probably the date during which the naming of the constellations were completed. It was observed that such animals as the elephant, camel, hippopotamus, crocodile and tiger were not amongst the figures representing the constellations, therefore we, can assert India, Arabia and Egypt could not have been the place where the idea of firmament originated.

We can exclude Greece, Italy and Spain on the basis of the fact that the figure of tiger is present in the figures of constellations. Thus purely by logical thinking we can assert that the motherland of celestial figures must be Minor Asia and Armenia, that is to say a region limited by the Black, the Mediterranean, the Caspian and the Aegean Seas..." The above statements had to be confirmed. The discoveries made during the last decades in Armenia. have enriched our knowledge of the ancient civilisation and ancient astronomy in this region. On Armenian territory , a belt calendar and geocentric model of the universe were discovered from the Bronze Era, dating back to the XI century BC (rumanian, Mnazakanian, 1965) Furthermore, rock carvings of astro- nomical representations of the Sagittarius, lion and Scorpio constellations, along with symbols of the Sun and the Moon, were discovered on fragments.

of rocks older than 3000 years. The diameters of the pictures are different from each other. indicating the relative brightness of the stars. On one fragment the Sun, Moon. and five planets. as seen with the naked eye are pictured, and on another two fragments there are circles with short and 29 long rays. The rays carved on the rocks probably depict the period of repetition of the Lunar phases. A carved circle found on one of the rocks created a great deal of interest. This circle is divided into orthogonal lines, in which (on opposing sides) are also carved human figures.. These symbols represent the Earth and antipodes.


No comments: