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Zorats Karer (Karahounj)

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Alternate Name: Karahunj (Stonehenge) Region: Syunik Location: 3 km. north of Sisian The Zorats Karer (Zorats stones) date back to the second millennium B.C. According to the scientific consensus today, the arrangement of stones was most probably meant for astronomical observation. Zorats Karer or Karahunj (Armenian Stonehenge) is situated 3 km north of Sisian. The site consists of hundreds of vertically constructed boulders situated in a deliberate arrangement covering over 3 hectares. At first glance they appear to be randomly scattered but aerial views reveal a surprisingly precise arrangement of these giant stones. Although their exact purpose is unknown, some opinions as to the function of the Zorats stones are a temple to the god of the sun, an astronomical instrument, or an ancient university. Constructed over 6000 years ago, the Zorats stones site had been a place of activity for 4000 years until Armenia’s adoption of Christianity. In total, there are 203 stones, 76 of which have 5-7 cm diameter holes bored through them. Sixty three stones stand upright, 16 on an angle, while 90 lay flat. The largest of the boulders weighs more than 50 tons and were hauled from a quarry situated several kilometers away.

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