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NABTA - Oldest Astronomical Megalith Alignement Discovered In Egypt

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Author Topic: NABTA - Oldest Astronomical Megalith Alignement Discovered In Egypt  (Read 5378 times)
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« on: July 09, 2009, 08:35:49 pm »

Nabta - Symbols in the Sand

Roughly one hundred kilometers to the west of the Nile River in southern Egypt lies a basin with myriad stones placed in various alignments. Five arrangements seem to be somewhat linear, branching off in several different directions. Another stone formation is circular, with small openings at four opposite sides of the circle. This region is known as Nabta, and has recently been investigated by archaeologists and astronomers exploring its historical function.

Perhaps the most important note to make about Nabta revolves around the radiocarbon dating that was used extensively on the site. The dates determined by carbon samples shows that Nabta could not be younger than 4,800 years old. Some of the alignments, if not all of them, are probably much older than this. This means that the megaliths at Nabta predate most other similar sites, such as Stonehenge. The region of southern Egypt where Nabta is located became inhabitable as early as 11,000 years ago. There is evidence of people living in the vicinity about 10,000 years ago. There seem to be three eras of occupation of the basin, divided by periods of drought. Early in the Neolithic age, the inhabitants constructed villages, one of which had walk-in wells. While it is thought by the excavation crew that the ancient nomads only lived in the region during the rainy summers, these wells may have allowed for year-round occupation.

The megaliths in the alignments are generally about 2 m by 3 m, and are made from sandstone. After they were carried for 0.5 km or more, each stone was partially buried in the ground. The stone circle is believed to be astronomically related. There are two lines of sight: one north-south, the other a seemingly obscure angle at first glance. When researched in greater detail, the second line of sight matches up with what astronomers calculate the azimuth of the summer solstice Sun was 6,000 years ago. The north-south line of sight, as well as the direction of the bases of the megaliths may have been important for the navigation through the Sahara Desert. There is also a possibility that the spatial arrangement of the megaliths suggest a connection between the Sun, water, death, and the fertile Earth.

Such a complex accomplishment thie early on in history has many of Nabta's investigators questioning the importance of this ancient culture. It is possible that after the final exodus of these early inhabitants, the foundation of a stronger cultural base was layed out. This would have lasted until the more advanced Egyptian society we are familiar with today developed.

(J. M. Britt)
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