This is a list of sites where claims for the use of archaeoastronomy have been made, sorted by country.
The International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) and the International Astronomical Union (IAU) jointly published a thematic study on heritage sites of astronomy and archaeoastronomy to be used as a guide to UNESCO in its evaluation of the cultural importance of archaeoastronomical sites around the world, which discussed sample sites and provided categories for the classification of archaeoastronomical sites. The editors, Clive Ruggles and Michel Cotte, proposed that archaeoastronomical sites be considered in four categories: 1) Generally accepted; 2) Debated among specialists; 3) Unproven; and 4) Completely refuted.
[T]he proposed use and precision have never been appropriately proven or tested. In addition, the site lacks any historical or ethnographical context.
Arkaim (Russian: Аркаим) is an archaeological site in Russia, situated in the steppe of the Southern Ural, 8.2 km (5.10 mi) north-to-northwest of the village of Amursky and 2.3 km (1.43 mi) south-to-southeast of the village of Alexandrovsky in the Chelyabinsk Oblast of Russia, just north of the border with Kazakhstan. It was discovered in 1987 by a team of archaeologists led by Gennady Zdanovich, preventing the planned flooding of the area for the creation of a reservoir. Arkaim is attributed to the early Indo-Europeans of the Sintashta culture, which some scholars believe represents the proto-Indo-Iranians before their split into different groups and migration to Central Asia and from there to Persia and India and other parts of Eurasia (see Indo-Aryan migration theory).Scholars have identified the structure of Arkaim as the cities built "reproducing the model of the universe" described in ancient Indo-European spiritual literature, the Vedas and the Avesta. The structure consists of three concentric rings of walls and three radial streets, reflecting the city of King Yima described in the Rigveda. The foundation walls and the dwellings of the second ring are built according to swastika-like patterns; the same symbol is found on various artefacts. Arkaim is designated as a "national and spiritual shrine" of Russia and has become a holy site for Rodnover, Zoroastrian and other religious movements.The fortified citadel of Arkaim dates back to the 17th and 16th century BCE. More than twenty other structures built according to similar patterns have been found in a larger area spanning from the southern Urals' region to the north of Kazakhstan, forming the so-called "Land of Towns". In 2005, the city of Arkaim was visited by Vladimir Putin.Australian Aboriginal astronomy
Australian Aboriginal astronomy is a name given to indigenous Australian culture relating to astronomical subjects – such as the Sun and Moon, the stars, planets, and the Milky Way, and their motions on the sky.
One of the earliest records of indigenous astronomy was made by William Edward Stanbridge, an Englishman who emigrated to Australia in 1841 and befriended the local Boorong people. A recent comprehensive review
summarises all published research on Aboriginal Astronomy up to 2016.
Some Aboriginal groups use the motions of celestial bodies for calendar purposes. Many attribute religious or mythological meanings to celestial bodies and phenomena. There is a diversity of astronomical traditions in Australia, each with its own particular expression of cosmology. However, there appear to be common themes and systems between the groups.Brú na Bóinne
Brú na Bóinne (Irish: [ˈbˠɾˠuː n̪ˠə ˈbˠoːn̪ʲə], Palace of the Boyne or Mansion of the Boyne) or Boyne valley tombs, is an area in County Meath, Ireland, located in a bend of the River Boyne. It contains one of the world's most important prehistoric landscapes dating from the Neolithic period, including the large Megalithic passage graves of Knowth, Newgrange and Dowth as well as some 90 additional monuments. The archaeological culture associated with these sites is called the "Boyne culture".
Since 1993 the site has been a World Heritage Site designated by UNESCO, known since 2013 as "Brú na Bóinne - Archaeological Ensemble of the Bend of the Boyne".Cahokia
The Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site (11 MS 2) is the site of a pre-Columbian Native American city (circa 1050–1350 CE) directly across the Mississippi River from modern St. Louis, Missouri. This historic park lies in southern Illinois between East St. Louis and Collinsville. The park covers 2,200 acres (890 ha), or about 3.5 square miles (9 km2), and contains about 80 mounds, but the ancient city was much larger. In its heyday, Cahokia covered about 6 square miles (16 km2) and included about 120 manmade earthen mounds in a wide range of sizes, shapes, and functions.Cahokia was the largest and most influential urban settlement of the Mississippian culture, which developed advanced societies across much of what is now the central and southeastern United States, beginning more than 1,000 years before European contact. Today, Cahokia Mounds is considered the largest and most complex archaeological site north of the great pre-Columbian cities in Mexico.
Cahokia Mounds is a National Historic Landmark and a designated site for state protection. It is also one of only 23 UNESCO World Heritage Sites within the United States. The largest prehistoric earthen construction in the Americas north of Mexico, the site is open to the public and administered by the Illinois Historic Preservation Division and supported by the Cahokia Mounds Museum Society. In celebration of the 2018 Illinois Bicentennial, the Cahokia Mounds were selected as one of the Illinois 200 Great Places by the American Institute of Architects Illinois component (AIA Illinois) and was recognized by USA Today Travel magazine, as one of AIA Illinois's selections for Illinois 25 Must See Places.Cahokia Woodhenge
The Cahokia Woodhenge was a series of large timber circles located roughly 850 metres (2,790 ft) to the west of Monks Mound at the Mississippian culture Cahokia archaeological site near Collinsville, Illinois. They are thought to have been constructed between 900 and 1100 CE; with each one being larger and having more posts than its predecessor. The site was discovered as part of salvage archaeology in the early 1960s interstate highway construction boom and one of the circles was reconstructed in the 1980s. The circle has been used to investigate archaeoastronomy at Cahokia. Annual equinox and solstice sunrise observation events are held at the site.Chanquillo
Chanquillo or Chankillo is an ancient monumental complex in the Peruvian coastal desert, found in the Casma-Sechin basin in the Ancash Department of Peru. The ruins include the hilltop Chankillo fort, the nearby Thirteen Towers solar observatory, and residential and gathering areas. The Thirteen Towers have been interpreted as an astronomical observatory built in the 4th century BC. The culture that produced Chankillo is called the Casma/Sechin culture or the Sechin Complex.The site covers about four square kilometres (1.5 square miles) and has been interpreted as a fortified temple.Giza pyramid complex
The Giza pyramid complex, also called the Giza Necropolis, is the site on the Giza Plateau in Egypt that includes the Great Pyramid of Giza, the Pyramid of Khafre, and the Pyramid of Menkaure, along with their associated pyramid complexes and the Great Sphinx of Giza. All were built during the Fourth Dynasty of the Old Kingdom of Ancient Egypt. The site also includes several cemeteries and the remains of a workers' village.
The site is at the edges of the Western Desert, approximately 9 km (5 mi) west of the Nile River in the city of Giza, and about 13 km (8 mi) southwest of the city centre of Cairo.
The Great Pyramid and the Pyramid of Khafre are the largest pyramids built in ancient Egypt, and they have historically been common as emblems of ancient Egypt in the Western imagination. They were popularised in Hellenistic times, when the Great Pyramid was listed by Antipater of Sidon as one of the Seven Wonders of the World. It is by far the oldest of the ancient Wonders and the only one still in existence.Goseck circle
The Goseck circle (German: Sonnenobservatorium Goseck) is a Neolithic structure in Goseck in the Burgenlandkreis district in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany.
Its construction is dated to approximately the 49th century B.C., and it seems to have remained in use until about the 47th century B.C. It may thus be the oldest and best known of the circular enclosures associated with the Central European Neolithic. Currently, the site is presented officially by the state archaeologists and the local association that looks after it as a ritual or cult structure.
The circle consists of a concentric ditch 75 metres (246 feet) across and two palisade rings containing entrances in places aligned with sunrise and sunset on the winter solstice days and smaller entrances aligned with the summer solstice. Marketing materials have described it as one of the oldest "Solar observatories" in the world, but sunrise and sunset during winter and summer solstices are the only evident astronomical alignments emphasized in the remains of the structure.
The existence of the site was made public in August 2003, and it was opened for visitors in December 2005.Great Pyramid of Giza
The Great Pyramid of Giza (also known as the Pyramid of Khufu or the Pyramid of Cheops) is the oldest and largest of the three pyramids in the Giza pyramid complex bordering present-day El Giza, Egypt. It is the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, and the only one to remain largely intact.
Based on a mark in an interior chamber naming the work gang and a reference to the fourth dynasty Egyptian Pharaoh Khufu, some Egyptologists believe that the pyramid was thus built as a tomb over a 10- to 20-year period concluding around 2560 BC. Initially at 146.5 metres (481 feet), the Great Pyramid was the tallest man-made structure in the world for more than 3,800 years until Lincoln Cathedral was finished in 1311 AD. Originally, the Great Pyramid was covered by limestone casing stones that formed a smooth outer surface; what is seen today is the underlying core structure. Some of the casing stones that once covered the structure can still be seen around the base. There have been varying scientific and alternative theories about the Great Pyramid's construction techniques. Most accepted construction hypotheses are based on the idea that it was built by moving huge stones from a quarry and dragging and lifting them into place.
There are three known chambers inside the Great Pyramid. The lowest chamber is cut into the bedrock upon which the pyramid was built and was unfinished. The so-called Queen's Chamber and King's Chamber are higher up within the pyramid structure. The main part of the Giza complex is a set of buildings that included two mortuary temples in honour of Khufu (one close to the pyramid and one near the Nile), three smaller pyramids for Khufu's wives, an even smaller "satellite" pyramid, a raised causeway connecting the two temples, and small mastaba tombs surrounding the pyramid for nobles.List of archaeological sites by country
This is a list of notable archaeological sites sorted by country and territories.
For one sorted by continent and time period, see the list of archaeological sites by continent and age.List of statues
This is a list of the most famous statues worldwide, past and present that already have articles about them in Wikipedia or are referred to or pictured in other articles.Loughcrew
Loughcrew or Lough Crew (Irish: Loch Craobh, meaning "lake of the tree") is an area of great historical importance near Oldcastle, County Meath, Ireland. It is home to a group of megalithic tombs dating back to the 4th millennium BC, which sit on top of a range of hills. The hills and tombs are together known as Slieve na Calliagh (Sliabh na Caillí) and are the highest point in Meath. It is deemed one of the four main passage tomb sites in Ireland and is a protected National Monument. The area is also home to the Loughcrew Estate, from which it is named.Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu (English: or , Spanish: [ˈmatʃu ˈpi(k)tʃu]; Quechua: Machu Pikchu [ˈmatʃʊ ˈpɪktʃʊ]) is a 15th century Inca citadel, located in the Eastern Cordillera of southern Peru, on a 2,430-metre (7,970 ft) mountain ridge. It is located in the Cusco Region, Urubamba Province, Machupicchu District, above the Sacred Valley, which is 80 kilometres (50 mi) northwest of Cuzco and through which the Urubamba River flows, cutting through the Cordillera and creating a canyon with a tropical mountain climate.Most archaeologists believe that Machu Picchu was constructed as an estate for the Inca emperor Pachacuti (1438–1472). Often mistakenly referred to as the "Lost City of the Incas" (a title more accurately applied to Vilcabamba), it is the most familiar icon of Inca civilization. The Incas built the estate around 1450 but abandoned it a century later at the time of the Spanish Conquest. Although known locally, it was not known to the Spanish during the colonial period and remained unknown to the outside world until American historian Hiram Bingham brought it to international attention in 1911.
Machu Picchu was built in the classical Inca style, with polished dry-stone walls. Its three primary structures are the Intihuatana, the Temple of the Sun, and the Room of the Three Windows. Most of the outlying buildings have been reconstructed in order to give tourists a better idea of how they originally appeared. By 1976, thirty percent of Machu Picchu had been restored and restoration continues.Machu Picchu was declared a Peruvian Historic Sanctuary in 1981 and a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983. In 2007, Machu Picchu was voted one of the New Seven Wonders of the World in a worldwide Internet poll.Maeshowe
Maeshowe (or Maes Howe; Old Norse: Orkhaugr) is a Neolithic chambered cairn and passage grave situated on Mainland Orkney, Scotland. It was probably built around 2800 BC. In the archaeology of Scotland, it gives its name to the Maeshowe type of chambered cairn, which is limited to Orkney. Maeshowe is a significant example of Neolithic craftsmanship and is, in the words of the archaeologist Stuart Piggott, "a superlative monument that by its originality of execution is lifted out of its class into a unique position." The monuments around Maeshowe, including Skara Brae, were designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999.Nabta Playa
Nabta Playa was once a large internally drained basin in the Nubian Desert, located approximately 800 kilometers south of modern-day Cairo or about 100 kilometers west of Abu Simbel in southern Egypt, 22.51° north, 30.73° east. Today the region is characterized by numerous archaeological sites. The Nabta Playa archaeological site, one of the earliest of the Egyptian Neolithic Period, is dated to circa 7500 BC.Nazca Lines
The Nazca Lines are a group of very large geoglyphs formed by depressions or shallow incisions made in the soil of the Nazca Desert in southern Peru. They were created between 500 BC and 500 AD.Most lines run straight across the landscape, but there are also figurative designs of animals and plants, made up of lines. The individual figurative geoglyph designs measure between 0.4 and 1.1 km (.2 and .7 mi) across. The combined length of all the lines is over 1,300 km (808 mi), and the group cover an area of about 50 sq km (19 sq mi). The lines are typically 10 to 15 cm (4 to 6 in) deep. They were made by removing the top layer of reddish-brown iron oxide-coated pebbles to reveal a yellow-grey subsoil. The width of the lines varies considerably, but over half are slightly over one-third meter (just over 1 foot) wide. In some places they may be only a foot (30.5 cm) wide, and in others reach 6 feet (1.8 m) wide.Some of the Nazca lines form shapes that are best seen from the air (~1,500 ft, 457 m), though they are visible from the surrounding foothills and other high places. The shapes are usually made from one continuous line. The largest ones are about 370 m (1,200 ft) long. Because of its isolation and the dry, windless, stable climate of the plateau, the lines have mostly been preserved naturally. Extremely rare changes in weather may temporarily alter the general designs. As of 2012, the lines are said to have been deteriorating because of an influx of squatters inhabiting the lands.The figures vary in complexity. Hundreds are simple lines and geometric shapes; more than 70 are zoomorphic designs of animals such as a hummingbird, spider, fish, llama, jaguar, monkey, lizard, dog and a human. Other shapes include trees and flowers. Scholars differ in interpreting the purpose of the designs, but in general, they ascribe religious significance to them. They were designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994.Phnom Bakheng
Phnom Bakheng (Khmer: ប្រាសាទភ្នំបាខែង) at Angkor, Cambodia, is a Hindu and Buddhist temple in the form of a temple mountain. Dedicated to Shiva, it was built at the end of the 9th century, during the reign of King Yasovarman (889-910). Located atop a hill, it is nowadays a popular tourist spot for sunset views of the much bigger temple Angkor Wat, which lies amid the jungle about 1.5 km to the southeast. The large number of visitors makes Phnom Bakheng one of the most threatened monuments of Angkor. Since 2004, World Monuments Fund has been working to conserve the temple in partnership with APSARA.Teotihuacan
Teotihuacan , (in Spanish: Teotihuacán) (Spanish pronunciation: [teotiwa'kan] (listen), modern Nahuatl pronunciation ), is an ancient Mesoamerican city located in a sub-valley of the Valley of Mexico, which is located in the State of Mexico 40 kilometres (25 mi) northeast of modern-day Mexico City. Teotihuacan is known today as the site of many of the most architecturally significant Mesoamerican pyramids built in the pre-Columbian Americas.
After the collapse of Teotihuacan, central Mexico was dominated by the Toltecs of Tula until about 1150 CE.
At its zenith, perhaps in the first half of the first millennium CE, Teotihuacan was the largest city in the pre-Columbian Americas, with a population estimated at 125,000 or more, making it at least the sixth largest city in the world during its epoch. The city covered 8 square miles; 80 to 90 percent of the total population of the valley resided in Teotihuacan. Apart from the pyramids, Teotihuacan is also anthropologically significant for its complex, multi-family residential compounds, the Avenue of the Dead, and its vibrant murals that have been well-preserved. Additionally, Teotihuacan exported fine obsidian tools that are found throughout Mesoamerica. The city is thought to have been established around 100 BCE, with major monuments continuously under construction until about 250 CE. The city may have lasted until sometime between the 7th and 8th centuries CE, but its major monuments were sacked and systematically burned around 550 CE.
Teotihuacan began as a religious center in the Mexican Highlands around the first century CE. It became the largest and most populated center in the pre-Columbian Americas. Teotihuacan was home to multi-floor apartment compounds built to accommodate the large population. The term Teotihuacan (or Teotihuacano) is also used for the whole civilization and cultural complex associated with the site.
Although it is a subject of debate whether Teotihuacan was the center of a state empire, its influence throughout Mesoamerica is well documented; evidence of Teotihuacano presence can be seen at numerous sites in Veracruz and the Maya region. The later Aztecs saw these magnificent ruins and claimed a common ancestry with the Teotihuacanos, modifying and adopting aspects of their culture. The ethnicity of the inhabitants of Teotihuacan is the subject of debate. Possible candidates are the Nahua, Otomi or Totonac ethnic groups. Scholars have suggested that Teotihuacan was a multi-ethnic state.
The city and the archaeological site are located in what is now the San Juan Teotihuacán municipality in the State of México, approximately 40 kilometres (25 mi) northeast of Mexico City. The site covers a total surface area of 83 square kilometres (32 sq mi) and was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987. It is the most visited archaeological site in Mexico, receiving 4,185,017 visitors in 2017.Woodhenge
Woodhenge is a Neolithic Class II henge and timber circle monument within the Stonehenge World Heritage Site in Wiltshire, England. It is 2 miles (3.2 km) north-east of Stonehenge, just north of the town of Amesbury.