An egg-shaped ring of standing stones in Australia could prove to be older than Britain’s Stonehenge - and it may show that ancient Aboriginal cultures had a deep understanding of the movements of the stars.
Fifty metres wide and containing more than 100 basalt boulders, the site of Wurdi Youang in Victoria was noted by European settlers two centuries ago, and charted by archaeologists in 1977, but only now is its purpose being rediscovered.
It is thought the site was built by the Wadda Wurrung people - the traditional inhabitants of the area. All understanding of the rocks’ significance was lost, however, when traditional language and practices were banned at the beginning of the 20th Century.
Now a team of archaeologists, astronomers and Aboriginal advisers is reclaiming that knowledge.
They have discovered that waist-high boulders at the tip of the egg-shaped point along the ring to the position on the horizon where the sun sets at the summer and winter solstice - the longest and shortest day of the year.
The axis from top to bottom points towards the equinox - when the length of day equals night.
1 year ago