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Thread: Goseck: 7,000 years old German Solar Temple predates Stonehenge

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    Goseck: 7,000 years old German Solar Temple predates Stonehenge

    German experts on Thursday hailed Europe’s oldest astronomical observatory, discovered in Saxony-Anhalt last year, a “milestone in archaeological research” after the details of the sensational find were made public.


    Archaeologists Unearth German Stonehenge

    The sleepy town of Goseck, nestled in the district of Weissenfels in the eastern German state of Saxony-Anhalt shimmers under the brutal summer heat, as residents seek respite in the shade.

    Nothing in this slumbering locale indicates that one of the most significant archaeological discoveries of all times was made here. But this is indeed exactly where archaeologists digging in the region last September stumbled upon what they believe is Europe?s oldest astronomical observatory ever unearthed.

    On Thursday, German experts toasted the discovery as a "milestone in archaeological research" as details of the find were made public. State archaeologist Harald Meller said the site, which is believed to be a monument of ancient cult worship, provided the first insights into the spiritual and religious world of Europe?s earliest farmers. Francois Bertemes of the university of Halle-Wittenberg estimated the site to be around 7,000 years old. He described its significance as "one of the oldest holy sites" discovered in Central Europe.

    Through carbon dating of two arrow heads and animal bones found within the site?s circular compounds, archaeologists have been able to determine the date of the site?s origins. They say that with all likelihood it can be traced back to the period between 5000 and 4800 B.C. If that is the case, it would make the Goseck site the oldest-dated astronomical observatory in Europe.

    But it's not just its age that makes the Goseck location so unusual. Compared to the approximately 200 other similar prehistoric mound sites strewn throughout Europe, the Goseck site has striking deviations. Instead of the usual four gates leading into the circular compounds, the Goseck monument has just three. The walled-compound also consists of an unusual formation of concentric rings of man-high wooden palisades. The rings and the gates into the inner circles become narrower as one progresses to the*center, indicating perhaps that only a few people could enter the inner-most ring.

    Wolfhard Schlosser of the Ruhr University Bochum believes the site's unique construction indicates that it is indeed one of the earliest examples of an astrological observatory.

    Schlosser, a specialist in astro-archeology, says the southern gates marked the sunrise and sunset of the winter and summer solstice and enabled the early Europeans to determine with accuracy the course of the sun as it moved across the heavens. Schlosser is convinced the site was constructed for the observation of astronomical phenomena such as the movements of the sun, moon and stars, and for keeping track of time. These celestial cycles would have been important for the sowing and harvesting of crops in the early civilization.

    But, Goseck isn?t merely a "calendar construction," Schlosser explains, "but rather is clearly a sacred building." Archeologists have found plenty of evidence to prove that Goseck was a place of prehistoric cult worship. The arrangement of human bones, for instance, is atypical of burial sites, and telltale cut marks on them indicate that human sacrifice was practiced at the site.

    Bertemes says it is not uncommon for such astronomical observatories to function as places of worship and centers of religious and social life.

    The Goseck site, erected by the earliest farming communities between the Stone and Bronze Age, came 3,000 years before the last construction phase of the megaliths of Stonehenge in Great Britain.


    Links between Nebra disc and observatory

    Experts are also drawing parallels between the Goseck mounds and another equally spectacular discovery made in the region. "The formation of the site, its orientation and the marking of the winter and summer solstice shows similarities to the world-famous ?Nebra disc? ? though the disc was created 2,400 years later," Schlosser says.

    The 3,600-year-old bronze Nebra disc was discovered just 25 kilometers away from Goseck in the wooded region of Nebra and is considered to be the oldest concrete representation of the cosmos. The 32-centimeter disc is decorated with gold leaf symbols that clearly represent the sun, moon and starts. A cluster of seven dots has been interpreted as the Pleiades constellation as it appeared 3,600 years ago. Schlosser believes the formations on the disc were based on previous astrological observations, which could possibly have been made at Goseck.

    Archeologists are certain the observatory with its function of tracking time played a crucial role in a society dominated by the changing seasons. They theorize that both the Goseck observatory and the Nebra disc indicate that astronomical knowledge was tied to a mythological-cosmological world view right from the beginning.

    Archaeologists first took note of the location of the Goseck site after aerial images taken in 1991 showed geometrically arranged earth mounds. But it wasn?t until last year that excavation actually got underway. Because the site is being used as learning material for students at the University of Halle-Wittenberg, it is only open for excavation for a limited number of weeks in the year. Next year a group of students from the University of California at Berkley will have a chance to dig in the site.

    Rüdiger Erben, district administrator of Weissenfels, believes the discovery of the Goseck observatory will probably result in some rather unscientific possibilities. He says he could imagine the site turning into a "Mecca for hobby archaeologists and astronomers."

    http://www.dw-world.de/english/0,336...24_1_A,00.html

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    Post German site predates Stonehenge

    German site predates Stonehenge

    Apparently oldest astronomical observatory in Europe discovered in eastern Germany

    By Heidi Sylvester

    Archaeologists have found what could be Europe's oldest astronomical observatory near the town of Goseck in the eastern German state of Saxony-Anhalt. The archaeological discovery lies only 25 kilometers from the forest near the village of Nebra, where an Early Bronze Age disc with gold foil ornaments was unearthed by looters just over three years ago.

    The site, which is estimated to be around 7,000 years old and measures 75 meters in diameter, provides the first insights into the spiritual and religious worlds of Europe's earliest farmers, Harald Meller, the state archaeologist for Saxony-Anhalt, said at a press conference at the start of the month.

    Archaeologists first took note of the location of the site after aerial images taken in 1992 showed geometrically arranged earth mounds. Excavation, however, did not get underway until last year. The Goseck site deviates strikingly from similar prehistoric mound sites, of which there are around 180 spread throughout Europe. Usually four gates lead into the circular compounds at such sites, but at Goseck there are only three.

    Astrophysicist Wolfhard Schlosser of the Ruhr University in Bochum is convinced that the site was constructed for the observation of astronomical phenomena such as the movements of the sun, moon and stars, and for tracking time. The southern gates marked the sunrise and sunset of the winter and summer solstice and enabled the early Europeans to determine with accuracy the course of the sun as it moved across the sky, Schlosser said.

    “The formation of the site, its orientation and the marking of the winter and summer solstice shows similarities to the world-famous Nebra disc - though the disc was created 2,400 years later, Schlosser said. The 32-centimeter disc, which was found in the wooded region of Nebra just 25 kilometers away from Goseck, is considered the oldest concrete representation of the cosmos.

    Schlosser believes the formations on the disc were based on previous astronomical observations, which could possibly have been made at the site at Goseck.

    The walled-compound at Goseck also consists of an unusual formation of concentric rings of man-high wooden palisades. Because the rings and the gates into the inner circles become narrower as one progresses to the center, archaeologists believe that only a few people were allowed entry into the inner-most ring.

    Archeologists have found plenty of evidence to prove that Goseck was a place of prehistoric cult worship. The arrangement of human bones, for instance, is not typical of burial sites, and cut marks on the bones suggest that human sacrifice was practiced at the site. It is “one of the oldest holiest sites“ discovered in central Europe, said Francois Bertemes, a university professor at the University of Halle-Wittenberg specializing in pre-historic archaeology.

    Archaeologists have been able to determine the date of the site's origins through carbon dating of two arrow heads and animal bones found within the site's circular compounds.

    They say that with all likelihood the site can be traced back to the period between 5000 BC and 4800 BC, which would make it the oldest-dated astronomical observatory in Europe. The site at Goseck, erected by the earliest farming communities between the Stone and Bronze Age, pre-dates Stonehenge by 3,000 years.

    The site is being used as learning material for students at the University of Halle-Wittenberg. Because of this, it is only open for excavation for a limited number of weeks in the year. A group of students from the University of California at Berkeley will have the chance to dig at the site next year.



    © Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Aug. 22, 2003
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    Wow, that is old!
    Newgrange in Ireland was believed to be one of the world's oldest structural sites dating from around 3200 BC (500 years older than the Pyramids and 1000 years older than Stonehenge).
    It was a passage tomb with a small opening at one end of the 19m passage which allowed a shaft of sunlight to illuminate the central chamber at dawn on the winter solstice.

    But the Goseck site predates even that by a large margin!

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    This looks like one of the early versions of Stonehenge, in other words, a Megalithic site. But up until now the oldest Megalithic sites were on the extreme western Atlantic coast. The farther inland,the newer the Megalithic site. This find throws all that out if it has any relationship to the Megalithic culture and it does look that way from the description.

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    Interesting this completely invalidates the idea that early Europeans where sun worshippers...

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    New Grange, a 5,000 year old megalithic site was oriented to chatch light on the day of the winter solstice. This sounds like they were interested in the sun but, without written records, to get into their minds and says what they did or didn't worship, is almost impossible.

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    Thumbs Up Re: German site predates Stonehenge

    The more I learn about the past of my peopel, the ones the Romans and Greeks called Barbarains, and my own teachers said were backward, The more I want to shout out that they were better then we give them. It about time that we give them some of the prase they got comeing.

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    7,000 years old German “Stonehenge” predates site in England

    .

    IHR Revisionist Conference, April 24, 2004, internet broadcast:

    http://www.internationalrevisionistconference.c om/

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    Arrow Europe's Oldest Civilisation - A Network of Dozens of Temples

    "Archaeologists have discovered Europe's oldest civilisation, a network of dozens of temples, 2,000 years older than Stonehenge and the Pyramids.

    More than 150 gigantic monuments have been located beneath the fields and cities of modern-day Germany, Austria and Slovakia. They were built 7,000 years ago, between 4800BC and 4600BC. Their discovery, revealed today by The Independent, will revolutionise the study of prehistoric Europe, where an appetite for monumental architecture was thought to have developed later than in Mesopotamia and Egypt."

    Read on:
    http://news.independent.co.uk/europe...p?story=645976

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    Post Re: Found: Europe's Oldest Civilisation

    The people who built the huge circular temples were the descendants of migrants who arrived many centuries earlier from the Danube plain in what is now northern Serbia and Hungary. The temple-builders were pastoralists, controlling large herds of cattle, sheep and goats as well as pigs.
    If thats true its really an interesting new aspect of early European cultures in the Neolithicum. It might be the work of early Indoeuropeans, related to the Bandkeramiker and later Schnurkeramiker groups probably.
    I'm very curious and hope that this will hypothese and findings will be uncovered in the news and articles soon with more information and potential weaknesses of the idea. Great topic.
    Last edited by Agrippa; Sunday, June 12th, 2005 at 12:01 PM.
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