Swans at Carahunge

Nadya Johnson

Joined January 2009

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Armenian Stonehenge

One hundred forty miles southeast of Yerevan, the capital of modern-day Armenia stands a prehistoric monument consisting of more than 203 monolithic stones. Composed of basalt, some are more than 150 tons in weight. Carahunge, also called Zorats Karer, is the world’s oldest known megalithic site aside from Gobekli Tepe, in Turkey. It dates back 7,500 years to a period of time when, according to “classic” archeology, no culture on the Earth was capable of erecting such structures, at all.

Carahunge is some 3,500 years older than the pyramids at Giza (according to classical dating) and 3,000 years older than its sister site in Britain, Stonehenge as well. (Many experts think the two are related despite the centuries and distance which separate the two. The names are similar. It’s interesting that “car” means “stone” in Armenian, while "hunge (or henge) refers to “speech” ~ and there is no real meaning for the term “henge” in English.)

The talking stones, also referred to as the Stones of the Powerful at Carahunge are believed to be the remnants of the world’s oldest known astronomical observatory, built to mark the movement not only of the sun and moon, but also the stars. A number of the huge standing stones bear smoothly angled spy holes 4 to 5cm in diameter, each one angled toward a different point on the horizon or an ancient target in the sky. Most significant to some, is that Carahunge’s principal stellar alignment is towards Deneb, the brightest star in the constellation of Cygnus the swan….not as it exists today, but as it did 7,500 years ago. (Over time, apparent star locations change due to the precession: or wobbling, of the axis of the Earth. These variations are possible to measure, therefore date.)

It’s also interesting to note that according to some researchers, other prehistoric stone settings also focus on the constellation Cygnus; these include the very ancient Nabta Playa in Egypt and the ruins found at Gobekli Tepe, mentioned above (which date back more than 14,000 years!) This compounds the mystery. First, who possessed the astronomical knowledge ~ not to mention, the mathematical and engineering skills! ~ to erect such “observatories” in what we think of now as the pre-Neolithic era? Secondly… why?

Why Deneb? Why Cygnus the Swan?

One theory is, that Cygnus was used as a time marker as its stars are so close to the north celestial pole (thus moving very little over centuries of time). There is also its position in the Milky Way, precisely where the starry stream splits off to form what is known as the Dark Rift ~ in actuality, the heart of the Galaxy itself. Universally, this area of sky has been seen as the point of access to the sky-world ~ a place of cosmic birth and death. In many cultures, it was seen as the place where the souls of the dead traveled in the afterlife, often accompanied by, or in the form of, a bird, or Soul Carrier. Usually, the identity of these birds corresponded with the stars of Cygnus and how they were represented in various mythologies; a falcon in Egypt, a vulture on the Euphrates, and a swan in ancient Greece and Turkey.

There are other theories, some less acceptable to mainstream archeologists than others. Prophecies from many sources refer to the Dark Rift as the source of some Calamity slated to befall our planet at the End of Time (or at least, for Earth as we know it now). Others speculate that many ancient structures were erected as indicators left behind to say, “Look. Look at the stars. That one there! This is where we came from!”

Until we learn the answers, sites like Carahunge, the pyramids at Giza, Stonehenge and Golbecki Tempe will retain their stony secrets… mysteries out of time.

More on Carahunge, here ~ see some photos here.


This is a fanciful rendition of the site at Carahunge, although I based it on a photograph from Wikipedia. (Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license; free to share, copy, distribute, transmit, remix, and adapt the work)

The stars in the background come from Hubble and show the Cygnus region of the sky. The swans (trumpeters) are from another shot. The girl gazing up in wonderment is from stock (Wandering by Iardacil-stock at DeviantArt. com.

The large brilliant star is not Deneb but IRAS 19475+3119 which also lies in the constellation Cygnus the Swan about 15 000 light-years from Earth (also from the Hubble telescope).

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