Archaeoastronomy: The study of stones and stars

Goseck Circle

The Goseck Circle (called Sonnenobservatorium Goseck in German) was originally built around 4900 B.C.E to 4700 B.C.E. in central Germany. Though there is some dispute over whether it is really a “solar observatory”, it is certain that the two southern entrances to the circle align with the sunrise and sunset at the winter solstice.

de:Benutzer:Rainer Zenz, own drawing, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Discovered only recently (in 1991), the circle is a series of concentric ditches, the widest at 246 feet in diameter. Like many other similar structures of that time period, the ditches would have originally enclosed two concentric wooden palisades. Since it was re-discovered, the German archaeologists and state officials reconstructed what the wooden palisades would have looked like using 1,675 oak poles.

picture by ReinerZufall08, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Click here to visit the official Goseck Circle site.

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