FOUND IN CHINA
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[ November 1st 2005 ]
archaeologists have unearthed what they claim
to be the world's oldest observatory during an
excavation at the Taosi relics site in Shanxi
France-Presse reports today. The remains,
in the shape of a semi-circle 40 meters (132 feet)
in diameter in the main observation platform and
60 meters (198 feet) in diameter in the outer
circle, were made of rammed earth.
observatory was not only used for observing astronomical
phenomena but also for sacrificial rites," said
He Nu, a research follow with the Institute of
Archaeology of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
"The ancient people observed the direction of
sunrise through the gaps and distinguished the
different seasons of the year."
relics site, dated back to 4,300 years ago, is
located in Xiangfen County, Linfen City of Shanxi
Province, and covers an area of 3 million square
meters. It is believed to be a settlement of the
period of the five legendary rulers(2,600 BC-1,600
BC) in Chinese history, reports AFP.