Visiting the Gosek Circle - the oldest known solar observatory in the world!
Goseck Circle or Goseck Henge, is an early Neolithic Henge structure with entrances orientated to the rising and setting solstices. It was apparently created by Europe's first civilization, long before the cultures of Mesopotamia and the pyramids of Egypt. Dubbed the German Stonehenge, the structure has been radiocarbon dated to 4900 BC. Hundreds of similar wooden circular ridges just like it were built during a 200 year period around the same time. It is one of the best studied of the more than 250 ring ditches identified by aerial surveys throughout Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic, Slovenia and Croatia. Previously, archaeologists had thought that these henges might have simply been ancient fortifications.
Goseck Henge is considered to be the oldest official solar observatory in the world. It lies on the same latitude as Stonehenge, just over 1' minute (approx. 1000m) longitude further north. Stonehenge and Goseck both lie on the exact latitude at which the midsummer sunrise and sunsets are at 90° of the moon’s northerly setting and southerly rising. This particular phenomena is only possible within a band of less than one degree of which Stonehenge and Goseck lies in the middle-third. The site also sits on one of two unique latitudes in the world where the full moon passes directly overhead on its maximum zeniths.
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