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Australia’s Stonehenge Older Than UK’s: At 10,000 Years Age, World’s Oldest Observatory?

First Posted: Oct 15, 2016 06:20 AM EDT
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An ancient astronomical stone formation in Australia could prove to be older than UK's Stonehenge, according to researchers. Located 45 kilometers west of Melbourne, the Wurdi Youang stone arrangement could reportedly be the oldest astronomical observatory in the world.

Made of around 90 blocks of basalt, the structure is said to correctly identify the summer solstice, winter solstice, and the equinox. As per a custodian, Reg Abrahams, the stone formation also shows landscape through an art form. Standing in certain positions around the stone arrangement enables one to see three big mountains in the landscape and the three large rocks that mimic them by way of their arrangement. The rocks making up the structure vary from knee length to waist length.

The land where the stone formation stands was previously owned by a farmer who gave it to the Wathaurong Aboriginal Cooperative in 2006. Its location, however, has not been disclosed. As per reports, the Stonehenge is estimated to be about 10,000 years old by geologists. Furthermore, only seven such rock formations have been recorded until now in Victoria, and many of those have been ruined. At present, researchers are working on dating the formation more accurately and are also trying to get it featured on the Australian national heritage list, and perhaps even get it classified as a world heritage site.

"The custodians have found evidence of agricultural terraces and stone villages, which turn on its head the idea of the nomadic Aboriginal," said Duane Hamacher, lead researcher, according to The Guardian. "It shows that in Victoria sedentary agricultural lifestyle was taking off. What we're trying to figure out is exactly how old this thing is to tell us how far back that tradition goes. We know agriculture started around 12,000 years ago and if this site dates back to around then, perhaps Aboriginal people were some of the first." If the age of the structure is proven to be 10, 000 years old, then Australia's Stonehenge will be among the oldest known man-made structures in the world.

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