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The rôle of the Kokino megalith in the life of the Bronze age agricultural community

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  29 June 2011

Gjore Cenev*
MKC Planetarium, 1000 Skopje, Kej Dimitar Vlahov bb, Former YugoslavRepublic of Macedonia email:
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In 2002 in the region of North-East Macedonia a site was discovered, for which archaeoastronomical analyses have shown that it encompasses all elements of an ancient observatory dated 2000 BCE. In line with the analysis the existence of a central position, from where Sunrises and rises of Full Moon were observed, was confirmed, as well as that in the rocks on the east horizon a markers were crafted marking the places of the rise of the Sun and Moon in exactly determined days. From this central position, total 9 markers can be seen on the east horizon, 3 of which used to mark the places of the Sunrise in the course of the year, and remaining 6 marked the places of Full Moon rise. By continuous monitoring of the periodicity of the Full Moon rise, ancient sky observers could develop 19 years periodic lunar calendar. In addition, on the site there is a special observation place related to the cycles of solar and lunar eclipse. Only from there and toward the east horizon 4 markers can be seen, which were used for marking the positions of the Full Moon rise on the day of the beginning of the new periodic cycle of eclipse of 54 years and 34 days. The most outstanding content on the territory of the observatory are 4 stone seats called thrones. Also, on the east horizon there is one specially crafted marker that had ritual purpose. Archaeoastronomical analysis has shown that on the day when the harvest ends, rise of Sun could be seen exactly trough the aperture of this marker, enlightening by beam only one of the thrones where most probably a community headman was sitting. That was a ritual joining of the God Sun with the community headman and renewal of his energy as a guarantee for rich harvest in the coming year. This is just a fragment of information that Megalithic Observatory Kokino has to offer, linked with the culture and cosmological presentations of people of the early agricultural community in the Bronze Age.

Contributed Papers
Copyright © International Astronomical Union 2011


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