Modern man may claim to be the smartest in entire Solar System but that is far from being true. Ancient people, dating back to the Neolithic Age weren’t really dumbs! Despite being devoid of modern tools, computers and other advanced stuff, they managed to create things that baffles us today. One such creation was the Goseck Circle. Let us learn 20 interesting Goseck Circle facts and find out its relationship with astronomy. You ready?
Interesting Goseck Circle Facts: 1-5
1. The Goseck Circle, also known as the Goseck Henge is the oldest known official solar observatory to exist in world today.
2. It is located in a small sleepy town located in Goseck in Burgenlandkreis district of Saxony Anhalt in Germany.
3. The structure had an accidental discovery. It was back in 1991 when a couple of local surveyors were busy taking aerial photographs of the area that they spotted a gargantuan circular ridge-like structure underneath a wheat field.
4. The cropmarks on the circular structure were more visible during the seasons of drought.
5. In 2002 – 11 years after the structure was spotted, a major excavation of the site was undertaken by Peter Biehl and François Bertemes from University of Halle-Wittenberg.
Interesting Goseck Circle Facts: 6-10
6. Radiocarbon dating was used to find out the age of the structure and it was found that it dated back to 4900 BCE.
7. Certain pottery shards were also dug out and they belonged to the Stroke-ornamented ware culture dating back to circa 4700 BC.
8. The discovery of the pottery shards suggested that the site stayed functional for a period of 200 years and then it was abandoned.
9. This discovery of pottery shards represented a transition from Neolithic linear pottery to Stroke-ornamented ware culture.
10. Archeologists did find some remains of headless skeletons, human and animal bones and ritual fires and all pointed towards burial rituals or human sacrifice.
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Interesting Goseck Circle Facts: 11-15
11. However, absence of evidence of any kind of destruction or massive fire left the archeologists clueless about what possibly went wrong that forced the people to abandon the place.
12. The original configuration and traces of the Goseck Circle revealed that the structure consisted of two wooden palisades, one ditch, one mound and four concentric circles.
13. The palisades had three gates – one facing north, one facing southwest and the last one facing southeast.
14. Standing right at the center of the structure, one could see the sun rise from southeast gate and set through southwest gate during the winter solstice.
15. Across the two wooden palisades are a couple of concentric ditches with the outer ditch having a diameter of about 246 feet.
Interesting Goseck Circle Facts: 16-20
16. The Goseck Circle is not the only one of its kind. There are hundreds others that have been found throughout Czech Republic, Austria and Germany but the Goseck Circle is the largest of all and is the most well-preserved one.
17. Over 250 circular ditches have been found through aerial surveys but only 10% of all the ring-ditches have been inspected so far.
18. Initially the archeologists believed that the circular enclosures were some kind of fortification but they were left baffled by the absence of any building inside the rings. Hence, the theory of circular enclosures being used as fortification was scraped.
19. Interestingly, the Goseck Circle and the famous Stonehenge are both on the same latitude.
20. The discovery of the Goseck Circle was made public in 2003 and it was opened for public visit in December 2005. Before it was opened for public visit, the wooden palisades were reconstructed using hand tools so that more authentic look can be given to the Goseck Circle.