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Zorats Karer (Karahunge), Sisian, Armenia

Zorats Karer, the most ancient megalithic structure on Earth, is situated in Syunik, not far from Sisian. More than 200 standing stones (menhirs) occupy about 3 hectares area. Nearly half of the stones have holes 5-7 cm in diameter. The menhirs form two different diameter circles.

Zorats Karer is another historical mystery, and scientists from all over the world have been trying to give a solution to it. It was supposed that it was a place of worship in the 3rd and 2nd millennium BC. The historians suggest that the stones are the ruins of tumulus with stone walls and roof surrounded by menhirs.

4 research expeditions under guidance of the Armenian scientist, academician Paris Herouni (1994-1997) were organized to confirm the theory that Zorats Karer is an ancient observatory. The research was carried out at equinox and solstice days. The participants of the expedition were measuring magnetic deviation of the site, geographical coordinates and the length of the monument. As a result of complex calculations and many observations of the Sun and the Moon at their rising and setting Herouni made a supposition that the Karahunge observatory (as he called it) is about 7500 years old. He also drew an analogy between the British Stonehenge (3020-2910 BC.) and the Armenian Karahunge.

There exists the third version with touch of mystery explaining existence of megalithic structures in the different parts of Earth, including Karahunge. These structures are located in the places of the Earth's crust break where electromagnetic field is too intensive (scientifically proven), so Earth is getting cosmic energy through them.

Etymology of the words «Zorats Karer» and «Karahunge» (Qarahunge, Carahunge) doesn’t give a complete idea about the true purpose of this stone complex. "Zorats Karer" is translated as "mighty stones", and it can be explained by the fact that the complex is located at the place of strong energy. It`s supposed that the word "zorats" was derived from the Armenian "zohats" (sacrificial) that's why it can be translated as "sacrificial stones". People called these stones "Dik-dik qarer" (sticking up stones). The word "dik" has Indo-European roots and means "gods", so "dik-dik qarer" means "the gods' stones". As for the name "Karahunge" it means "the voice of the stones". There exists another meaning of this name "temple of the God Ara" ("ka" – god, "ara" god of the sun in the Armenian heathenish religion).

By Natalia Ghukasyan,


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