Ancient Passages to Stone Tombs Used to View Night Skies as Part of Rituals


Scientists discovered some ancient passages to stone tombs that may have been used by the early humans in clearly viewing the night skies as they perform the ancient rituals.

Archaeologists came up with the conclusion when they found dark entrances to 6,000-year-old tombs in Portugal. They believed that these passages are some kind of an early astronomical tool that helped ancient humans track and see the stars clearly. To be exact, the orientation of the entrances were believed to be aligned to provide the best view of the Aldebaran which is the red star that shines the brightest in the Taurus constellation.

It was an undergraduate student at Nottingham Trent University in England, Kieran Simcox that discovered the passages using graves. He told the Discover Magazine that observers would have to seat in total darkness where there is only one grave opening in front of them that shows where a star would rise at night.

Some scholars also believe that these passage graves are used in the rite of passage or initiation rituals that needed to be conducted in the megalithic chamber. Simcox pointed that there have been no studies that related the effect of studying stars in dark chambers such as passage graves.

The team will now have to determine if the tomb is really able to spot faint stars which will lead them to know if the tombs did play a part in revealing the rise of Aldebaran.

“To accurately time the first appearance of this star in the season, it is vital to be able to detect stars during twilight,” said Fabio Silva of the University of Wales Trinity.

But the CBS News highlighted that these details are still speculative and needed to be confirmed first. Astronomers noted that the first sighting of a specific star in the sky was used as a seasonal marker so prehistoric humans will know if it is the right time to start the migration.

Source: Science World Report




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