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List of archaeoastronomical sites by country


List of archaeoastronomical sites by country

This is a list of sites where claims for the use of archaeoastronomy have been made, sorted by country.

Clive Ruggles and Michel Cotte recently edited a book on heritage sites of astronomy and archaeoastronomy that provides a list of the main archaeoastronomical sites around the world.[1]


  • Armenia 1
  • Australia 2
  • Brazil 3
  • Bulgaria 4
  • Cambodia 5
  • Canada 6
  • Colombia 7
  • China 8
  • Egypt 9
  • Finland 10
  • France 11
  • Germany 12
  • Guatemala 13
  • Honduras 14
  • Indonesia 15
  • India 16
  • Iran 17
  • Ireland 18
  • Israel 19
  • Italy 20
  • Kenya 21
  • Korea 22
  • Republic of Macedonia 23
  • Malta 24
  • Mexico 25
  • Netherlands 26
  • Pakistan 27
  • Peru 28
  • Portugal 29
  • Romania 30
  • Russia 31
  • Syria 32
  • Sweden 33
  • Switzerland 34
  • Turkey 35
  • United Kingdom 36
  • United States 37
  • Other Lists 38
  • References 39


  • Zorats Karer (aka Carahunge), archeological site claimed by many to have astronomical significance.


  • Ngaut Ngaut oral tradition says these engravings represent lunar cycles.[2]
  • Wurdi Youang, a stone arrangement with possible solar alignments[3]




  • Angkor Wat
  • Phnom Bakheng, According to Jean Filliozat of the École Française, the center tower represents the axis of the world and the 108 smaller ones represent the 4 lunar phases each with 27 days.[5]



  • El Infiernito, (Spanish for "Little hell"), is a pre-Columbian Muisca site located at the outskirts of Villa de Leyva, Boyacá Department, Colombia. It is composed of several earthworks surrounding a setting of menhirs (upright standing stones); several burial mounds are also present. The site was a center of religious ceremonies and spiritual purification rites, and also served as a rudimentary astronomical observatory.


  • Puyang tomb, dated from 5000 BP, depicts a mosaic of constellations.[6]


  • Abu Simbel, The axis of the temple was positioned by the ancient Egyptian architects in such a way that twice a year, on October 20 and February 20, the rays of the sun would penetrate the sanctuary and illuminate the sculpture on the back wall, except for the statue of Ptah, the god connected with the Underworld, who always remained in the dark.[7][8]
  • Great Pyramids of Egypt
  • Nabta Playa


  • The so-called Giants' Churches (Finn. jätinkirkko), which are large, from ca. 20 m to over 70 m long rectangular or oval stone enclosures built in the Neolithic (ca. 3000-1800 BC), have axis and doorway orientations towards the sunrises and sunsets of the solstices and other calendrically significant days. E.g., the Kastelli of Raahe, which is one of the largest Giants' Churches, had its five "gates", i.e. wall openings oriented towards the midsummer sunset, the winter solstice sunrise, winter solstice sunset, the sunrises of the mid-quarter days of early May (Walpurgis, Beltaine) and August (Lammas), as well as the sunrise 11 days before the vernal equinox in 2500 BC.[9][10]







For a full list see the chapter on India in the ICOMOS book edited by Clive Ruggles and Michel Cotte.[12][13] These sites include:

J.M. Malville and Rana P.B. Singh have done much work on the archaeoastronomy of sacred sites in India.[14][15]



  • Brú na Bóinne, AKA Newgrange, once a year, at the winter solstice, the rising sun shines directly along the long passage into the chamber for about 17 minutes and illuminates the chamber floor.[16]
  • Knowth
  • Dowth
  • Loughcrew
  • Carrowkeel
  • Mound of the Hostages
  • Drombeg stone circle, at the winter solstice, the sun sets into a v formed by two distant overlapping hills and makes an alignment with the altar stone and the two main uprights. Due to the nature of the site and the western hills, local sunset is c. 15:50.
  • Beltany stone circle






Republic of Macedonia

  • Kokino Situated 1030 m above sea level on the Tatićev Kamen Summit near Kumanovo.




  • Funnel Beaker Culture megalith graves ("hunebedden") in the eastern Netherlands might be oriented on moonrises.[19]







See section "Golan Heights" above.




United Kingdom

United States

Other Lists


  1. ^ Clive Ruggles and Michel Cotte (ed.), Heritage Sites of Astronomy and Archaeoastronomy. ICOMOS and IAU, Paris, 2010.
  2. ^ Australian Aboriginal Astronomy at the CSIRO site. Accessed on 2009-08-02.
  3. ^ Norris, R.P.; Norris, P.M.; Hamacher, D.W.; Abrahams, R. (2013). "Wurdi Youang: an Australian Aboriginal stone arrangement with possible solar indications". Rock Art Research 30 (1): 55–65. 
  4. ^ Stoev, Alexey; Maglova, Penka (2014), "Astronomy in the Bulgarian Neolithic", in  
  5. ^ Time Life Lost Civilizations series: Southeast Asia: A Past Regained (1995) p.93-4
  6. ^ Zhentao Xu; David William Pankenier; Yaoting Jing (2000). East Asian Archaeoastronomy: Historical Records of Astronomical Observations of China, Japan and Korea. CRC Press. p. 2.  
  7. ^ Alberto Siliotti, Egypt: temples, people, gods,1994
  8. ^ Ania Skliar, Grosse kulturen der welt-Ägypten, 2005
  9. ^ Okkonen, J. & Ridderstad, M. 2009: Jätinkirkkojen aurinkosuuntauksia; in Ei kiveäkään kääntämättä, Juhlakirja Pentti Koivuselle, pp. 129-136.
  10. ^ Tähdet ja Avaruus, Ursa astronomical assosiacion's magazine 4 / 2009 p.15
  11. ^ Rohde, Claudia: Kalender in der Urgeschichte. Fakten und Fiktion, Rahden 2012
  12. ^ Clive Ruggles and Michel Cotte (ed.), Heritage Sites of Astronomy and Archaeoastronomy. ICOMOS and IAU, Paris, 2010.
  13. ^ Subhash Kak, Archaeoastronomy in India. arXiv:1002.4513v2
  14. ^ J.M. Malville and L.M. Gujral, Ancient Cities, Sacred Skies. New Delhi, 2000.
  15. ^ Rana P.B. Singh, Cosmic Order and Cultural Astronomy. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2009.
  16. ^
  17. ^ Anthony Aveni, Stairway to the Stars: Skywatching in Three Great Ancient Cultures (New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1997) 135-138 ISBN 0-471-15942-5
  18. ^
  19. ^ Langbroek M., Huilen naar de maan. Een verkennend onderzoek naar de orientaties van Nederlandse hunebedden. P.I.T. 1:2 (1999), 8-13
  20. ^ A History of Britain, Richard Dargie (2007), p. 12.
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^
  24. ^ Newark Earthworks
  25. ^ http://nmspacetrail.coms/02wallys/index.html
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