CNN International Explores the Secrets of Armenia’s Stonehenge

A stone circle located high in the highlands of Southern Armenia may in fact be the oldest stone observatory in the world, predating England’s Stonehenge. According to newly started excavations, the Armenian Stonehenge (Karahunj) has a history of 7500 years. It’s discovery has sparked a scientific debate in astronomical and astrological circles. Yerkir Media’s Gayane Avetisyan reports on the story for CNN World View.

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36 Comments

  1. Hagop said:

    Now I understand why the British hate us so much…lol… it’s because they are Armenian

  2. Adam Weston said:

    This report seems to want to make a direct connection between the culture that created these monuments and Armenia. This attempted connection is particularly absurd when referring to other “ancient observatories” that are located in “historical Armenia” (now in Turkey). Again, these monuments predate Armenia, irredenta or otherwise – so they are NOT Armenian or Turkish or anything else that exists today. They are part of our common heritage as human beings and not the property of any nationality.

    • Irma Tchamourian said:

      Since Armenia has been around since 3500bc it’s safe to say that these are located in “historic Armenia” – if you would have paid attention to the report it did not state that it was created by Armenians, although it would have been an obvious assumption. I can make an analogy to you, that Stonehenge is clearly located in England, but we cannot say it was built by the British – you cannot refute that it is on Ancient British soil, though can you? No one said that Karahunj “belongs” to the Armenian people – they were trying to convey that ancient tribes in what is now ancient armenian soil had built it, then some obscure transcript states that it may be the same tribe that went on to build Stonehenge.

      While it’s clear that you don’t know Armenian history – why not spend a few minutes browsing http://www.littlearmenia.org or http://www.armenianhistory.info or http://www.armenian-history.com – you will see for yourself that this was a formidable nation, roughly the size of modern day Russia and it is only in the last hundred years that it was reduced to the size comparable to Sweden, less than 10% of it’s original size. Our Nation’s people can literally count our generations from the formal founder of the Armenians “Haik” as a direct descendant of Japheth, who is Noah’s son (of Ark fame), whereas Noah founded one of Armenia’s ancient cities Nakhichevan. They did find Noah’s Ark on Ararat, it was documented in the early 1970’s, then promptly covered up and denied. You will notice the documentaries never ask Armenians about what took place there but that’s a different story. Do some research on the area, and you will see why the area is referred to as “historical Armenia”. Good luck with your research. There is alot more to discover than this 5 minute documentary provides.

      • Nick said:

        Hello,
        I have to agree with Adam’s points here. He is entirely correct. Your remarks regarding Stonehenge in England are a little confused.Stonehenge was built by people who possibly pre-date even the “Celts” but the modern people of Britain are its custodians; we keep it for the world. The problem here is the interpretation of the word “Armenia” in its geographical sense and “Armenia” in its ethnographic sense and they way in which these semantic overlaps can be misused. It is also clear that “Armenia”, in its more modern ethnological context can not be identified with an geographic “Armenia” existing 3500 years ago. It is also clear that modern Armenians, who like most of us are an amalgam of peoples, can not claim descent from a mythical figure such as Noah nor a mythical event such as the grounding of Noah’s Ark on Ararat. While there can be no doubt that Armenians are an ancient and inventive people there can be no claim made that Armenia was once a “formidable ” nation the size of Russia. Since Armenians seem to have been fairly mobile one can not claim any area where Armenians once comprised a part of the population or where they may have ruled, either independently or as a subject but autonomous group, as a part of some ancient “Armenia.” This is where Adam’s comments about irredentism are valid; these arguments, based on mythology, are too often the source and cause of conflict.

        • Hans said:

          Hi,
          I often encounter such double standards when it concerns the Armenians. As if they are not allowed to celebrate their ancient heritage, but when for example the British dress up as druids hopping around the Stonehenge, no one bothers telling them that no one even knows what Stonehenge was used for. Sure all modern nations are modern and probably diverge from the ancient once (although genetic research has repeatedly put Armenian population in East Anatolia), that is still no argument against Armenians celebrating their heritage. And yes everything always changes, every molecule constantly moves, today is not yesterday and modern people are not ancient people. But let’s not apply double standards. By that logic we might as well proclaim every heritage of every nation a fiction. Good luck explaining the Greeks they are simply the ‘custodians’ of their Hellenic marvels. Or the French claiming Gaul ancestry.

          But you are mistaken about one thing. Armenians actually haven’t moved much throughout the course of their history. Yes they have been subjects to numerous empires for periods but they pretty much populated the same area they live in today. The large scale deportations occurred only after the 1st ww, during the Armenian Genocide. Before Armenians haven’t been moving all that much. Through history they’re known as builders not nomads! In fact there are no records in existence of Armenians living elsewhere than Armenia. As far as human recording goes Armenians emerged in the near east highlands also known as Armenian Highlands.

          • MARA OHANYAN said:

            Bravo, Hans! And thank you for standing up for Armenians without even being one :-) )judging by your name). Your analysis seems to be the most objective one here… I was going to write something very similar, especially about Armenian DNA project which proved that Armenian DNA is 5000 years old… Thanks again, God bless you! P.S. I actually came across this discussion while looking for a CNN clip from a couple of years ago where they tell a story about a book in the British Museum which alleges that the first dwellers of British Islands were Armenians…

    • Alexander said:

      No other nation then Armenians in particular culturally bound to stone carvings and structural monuments houses, shelters etc. Armenia rather was unofficially referred to as stone country. You wouldn’t go wrong with if you were to assume that those Stonehenges were in Armenia and made by Armenians. Big deal just rocky monuments. You do share however the characteristics of turks who habitually deprive others’ properties and in cases as such demand fair share. In other words what’s mine is mine and not ours, but what’s yours is ours for now, and later on will be mine. It is what it is now.

    • Alexander said:

      No other nation then Armenians in particular culturally bound to stone carvings and structural monuments houses, shelters etc. Armenia rather was unofficially referred to as stone country. You wouldn’t go wrong with if you were to assume that those Stonehenges were in Armenia and made by Armenians. Big deal just rocky monuments. You do share however the characteristics of turks who habitually deprive others’ properties and in cases as such demand fair share. In other words what’s mine is mine and not ours, but what’s yours is ours for now, and later on will be mine. It is what it is now. But you sound as if you’re having hard time accepting the concept of Brits having migrated from Armenia and pirating their heritage culture along. No one links Stonehenges in England to the Armenians in Armenian. Surely Armenians didn’t travel to Britain on donkeys built the Stonehenges and got back home overnight. There’s a possibility that builders of those Stonehenges shared cultural similarities with Armenians. All or most Europeans migrated from Caucasus. Probably that’s why they’re referred to as Caucasians not when defining their race. You’re just like many are reader my friend, you are not historian researcher. There’s pretty good reason why you and I should accept what historians tell us.

  3. Abbe said:

    Wow I am very impressed.
    It’s a bit strange though that they haven’t made this discovery earlier.

    • voter said:

      Earlier it was UdSSR where the facts rising self-appraisal of any nation, were inadmissibile.

      Except russians, there were mostly forbidden to have ancient history and you have to be “international” and leave in “solidarity” sharing even history…

      This resulted to absurd competitions continuing up to now – any nation in Caucasus trying to show that they are older than the others, with hope to get then right leave everywhere and evict others away from caucasus.

  4. Levon said:

    You may be joking but the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles, an early history of the peoples of Britain, actually states that the first people of Britain, the Britons, came from Armenia. You can read the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles online on many websites, here’s one:

    http://omacl.org/Anglo/part1.html

  5. Gary said:

    That part of British was a mistake by the scriber back then. It referred to another enthic group that came from France.
    This and many other things shows how much history in Armenia. Yet, when I went to Turkey, I didn’t see any of their historical buildings. It was always someone’s else history i.e. Istanbul, Ephesus, etc–they’re all Greek.

    • L.Z. said:

      “That part of British was a mistake by the scriber back then. It referred to another enthic group that came from France.”

      Gary,

      By and large, it doesn’t appear to be the case (that the first inhabitants of England came from France). There seems to be a greater consensus that they came from Armenia.

      The following quote is from a longer report on the subject (“America & Britain in Prophecy: Anglo-American Ethnic Roots”): “Some people argue that the compilers of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle used the word “Armenia” by mistake. They cite the fact that A History of the English Church and People by Bede (673-735 A.D.), which was used as one of the sources for the Chronicle, has a similar sentence using the word “Armorica” instead–i.e. modern Brittany in northwestern France. However, those who argue in favor of this should consider that the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle was a monumental work overseen by MANY people. Bede was just ONE person. More than likely, it was he who made the slip by using the word “Armorica”! Samuel Lyson’s history also traces the “Cimbri” to Armenia. And remember that Armenia was just south of Iberia and the Caucasus!”

    • Charles said:

      No it’s not! The Part of France w/ a similar name is Armorica (which is present-day Brittany) Armorica – Armenia, it’s a big difference! But many scholars have studied the question and stated that it was not a mistake.
      Same thing w/ the Scots &Welsh who claiming to come from Caucasus (Cimmerians – Գամիրք) to be descents from Noah.
      A lot of kilts have been found in the Caucasus by Archeologists.Weird?

    • Irma Tchamourian said:

      Try googling Turkey illegal invasion of Cyprus to see why Turkey covers up and renames anything Armenia…. look at how Turkey has repeatedly disrespected the UN’s pleas to cease and desist their invasions, genocides, atrocities and war crimes. They desecrate graves, convert churches to mosques, rename holy ground, and anyone who DARES to question them is executed, because it is illegal for anyone in Turkey (not just a Turk, mind you!) to question Turkish nationalism. They are the original and the most fearful Muslims on the face of this earth. If you want to know about what Turkey was before 1900, google Armenian history – Greek history. Incidentally, you will have to look at old pictures because the Turks have taken it upon themselves to systematically destroy and raize every historical Armenian site they can get their hands on. If it hasn’t already been converted to a mosque, then it was burned down (with all the Christians inside). Read Musa Dagh, written by Franz Werfel and read on the internet how the Turks threatened every single celebrity or producer that ever wanted to produce a movie about what happened. The truth will surprise you and sadden you to know that there are rogue countries that we (the USA) have to keep as allies because we have strategic military bases there. Enough said.

    • Onnik said:

      Hi Gary. The reason you did not observe Armenian cultural remains in Turkey were twofold. You perhaps did not visit Eastern Turkey and secondly the Turkis authorities have changed the original ethnic place-names to new and unrelated Turkish names and the guides would not willingly explain this to the tourists. However if you were to stay in that area for some time and get to know the people of Eastern Turkey many would tell you of the events that took place in 1915 (I know, it is ancient history to you just as the Holocaust will be in another 50 yuears!) and many would tell you their parents or grandparents were forcibly Islamised in order to wipe the slate from Armenian culture.

    • Dvin said:

      Then you must’ve not gone to eastern Turkey (Western Armenia) and did you know many of our Churches in istanbul and other big cities have been changed into mosques.

  6. Armen said:

    Adam Weston is ridiculous. Karahunj is as much Armenian as stone henge is of British ancestry. Adam’s remarks remind me of Turkish attempts to rob Armenians of their culture. He is a westerner though. Armenians are older civilization (more than 5000 yrs) then British or any western one. So if stonehenge can be given a british identity then be true to history and give what belongs to Armenians their true ownership.

    • Aram said:

      And who the heck can verify if Adam Weston is Adam Weston…I could call myself King of Sweden, could you verify that?

  7. Levon said:

    To Adam: the fact that these things are in Historical Armenia, which is where Armenians–the indigenous people of the region–originate is all that’s being claimed. Obviously, seven thousand years ago, the ancestors of the Armenians might not have called themselves “Armenians”. However the fact that those people are the direct ancestors of the current Armenian nation has been long been established. This report is merely stating that those people might have also been the ancestors of other peoples as well, such as the creators of Stonehenge. Present day Armenians are descendants of those who stayed in the land where they originated from, whereas others left for distant lands, such a s Britain, and used their knowledge of astrology to build similar sites as the one in Armenia.

  8. Hye said:

    Adam Weston, while Armenia may not have existed at the time this monument was built by the people who were living there who were the ancestors of the Armenians, since Armenians have literally lived in this area since as far as records go. It’s like saying that Americans can’t take pride in monuments built in America in 1775 because the United States of America didn’t exist back then.

  9. Random Armenian said:

    Adam Weston,

    I believe there are several things going on here. The most important thing to understand about us Armenians is that we’re sensitive about our history given that so much of it has been suppressed thanks to the handiwork of the Turkish government and the fact that Turkey is pretty much sitting on the majority of our history. This means they control our history and we have the hard task of countering and reclaiming it.

    At the same time we are very much connected to these regions, obsess over them and sometimes loose perspective. I don’t believe the report made any explicit assertion that karahunge was built by Armenians. But I’m sure some Armenians will assume that. We Armenians have to realize that we were not the only ones who lived there and that other groups of people predate us and passed through through these regions. Some I’m sure were absorbed and became part of the Armenian people and some did not.

  10. Random Armenian said:

    Gary,

    You said: “This and many other things shows how much history in Armenia. Yet, when I went to Turkey, I didn’t see any of their historical buildings. It was always someone’s else history i.e. Istanbul, Ephesus, etc–they’re all Greek.”

    I don’t think I understood your point. Are you saying Armenians don’t have a history in what is today Turkey because there is no evidence of it, or are you saying Turkey is hiding Armenian history? Or something else? Please clarify. Thanks.

    Levon,

    Armenia is also a historical region and that book could be referring to non-Armenian group living there. There are always minorities living in every kingdom and country.

  11. Dork Angegh said:

    Armenia and Armenian identity is a grand jigsaw puzzle, with 80% of the pieces missing. Why and how these pieces are missing is where Adam Weston’s comment about “Human Heritage” is drastically faltering. First recorded history, Asirnasirbal invades Arartta (Ararat, Urartu), and destroys many cities. Then the Marrs invade and destroy the Highland, then the Persians invade and destroy the land, then the Greeks under Alexander invade and destroy. It then becomes a battle ground for Romans, and then with Byzantines, and then invasion by the Arabs almost brings the Armenian civilization to extinction. As if these all were not enough, there came the Seljugs, and then the Mongols, and then the Memluks to convert the already ruins to a barren desert. Finally, the Ottoman Turks enslaved the Armenian nation. And yes, Genocide is not a good enough term to describe what Turks did to a nation that knows how to build and define Humanity. Mr. Adam Weston, what you are referring to “Human Heritage”, including the word “Human”, or “Humanity”, is itself a synonym for “Armenian” or “Armenianity”. It is just so much of the evidence got destroyed a thousand times over by ruthless non-humans, that only a few have remained to remind us that the European Man, the Western ideology is drastically flawed by their egoistic image, so much so, they cannot even remember from whither they came to Europe in first place. England, an island with so much natural boundaries could not maintain their 800 years of history properly, it makes me only imagine how tough the Armenian identity was to survive to this day…
    Unfortunately, being exposed to the European virus, as Humans we will all perish soon, becoming nothing but robots and biological slaves…

  12. Nana said:

    Karahunj! I have seen the wonder. It is magical. The space, the sound, the light. Its waiting is palpable.
    It is surrounded by far placed mountains were one finds petroglyphs.
    There is a book written by late P. Geruni – a physicist. He believed that the place had astronomical-astrological value. Was used as a navigational tool.
    I saw many British on the site. Put Karahunj on your “to visit” list.

  13. Varoujan said:

    Gary, you have visited western Turkey that has never been Armenia. If you visit the other half (eastern) you may be surprised.

  14. Ara said:

    In Armenia-we know our history and poeple. When I was there a while back for 2 years- people even said Ms Derian-as in Elizabeth Taylor-she is Armenian!!! Well- so it goes- We are everywhere1

  15. Levon Parian said:

    I always felt the Irish/Scottish had a very common ancestry as the Armenians. In Gaelic, the word for a boat is “navag” the same as in Armenian. The dancing, the music, the temperament all have made me bond with Irish friends from a more soulful place then I ever could have imagined.

  16. David said:

    Random Armenian,

    Thanks for your balanced comment. It’s nice to know that there are some Armenians out there who are not raving nationalists.

  17. Stephen T. Dulgarian said:

    I have visited both Historical Armenia & todays Free Armenia. In Historical Armenia I have seen the destruction the Turks have inflicted to our people. They not only massacred our people along with forcible assimation but all our Historical Churches, Khatch Kar Cemeteries have been decimated. The Turk will never change. Our people must wake up and not only force the U.S. to recognize our Genocide, but must push for land returns and reparations just as Bulgaria & the Greeks are asking for reparations. We have waited long enough, the time is now to push for these demands. In the Free Armenia I visited many places including Artsakh, but impressed me was Kara Hunj which is centuries older than StoneHenge in England. Also, in one of the caves they found the oldest leather shoe & lately found Mummefied bodies along with other artifacts that are considered the oldest in the world. Yet Armenians get no coverage in the U.S. Newspapers, the National Geographic & other magazines to show the world where civilization began.

  18. Karin said:

    It is fascinating that there is an English- Armenian dictionary written by Lord Byron. He studied Armenian in Mkhitarian Seminary on St. Lazarus island nearby Venice, Italy. I saw his picture hanging in one of the rooms. He discovered that English was very much connected to Armenian language grammatically and otherwise. The genome project also proved today the fact that human gene migration took its path from the region of today’s Armenia and historic Great Armenian Highlands. It is incredible that the prefix UN- has the same meaning in Armenian as in English- not, without. UNhavatali – it’s UNbelievable, ha? The facts are there, on a surface, but sometimes they are way deep under layers of dust and ash of our history- but cannot be totally erased and be hidden. We discover new things about Armenia almost every day- the oldest shoe and the oldest wine cellars. Why argue with the facts? Just accept and celebrate! If you have any doubts- go for a DNA test and you might discover that you too are sharing our stubborn and inquisitive gene. Who knows. And after you discover that- let’s drink a glass of ARENI wine to our common genes. We believe that the vines were planted by our great-great- great-……..grandfather. And our great-great-great….grandmother made our favorite national dish- DOLMA. She wasn’t going to waste away the leaves of her husbands vines… Haven’t tried those yet? Try. You will never forget the experience.

  19. Pingback: 5 must-see sites in Armenia – Inspiring Travel

  20. Alexander said:

    In the first Anglo Saxon chronicle it does say that Britons were the first settlers along with 4 other nations and that Britons came from Armenia. However, in Wikipedia it does mention that the monk who poorly documented (didn’t use computer in the first century, didn’t use paper clips or stapled them together etc) the historic events, possibly made an erroneous entry writing down Armenia while was thinking or Armorica (in modern France ). It shows the bungling of the critics the poorly way of thinking of ancient people and their way of documenting the history comparing with modern historians. Dropping a bomb on the monk, when the monk is a monk and not a professional historian. Ancient times monks did everything, yet everything they did was at face value. If that chronicle was written erroneously it would not have reached to date with a giant error in it. Either it would have been subjected to rectification or destruction. Because that would have been an unacceptable entry. There’s nowhere that says Brits came from Armorica or Gaul etc. it does say that after Roman invasion Brits did move to Armorica to either resettle or regroup. The critic further corrupts the story saying that the error might have occurred during the transcription, which is a sheer poppycock. First hinting on the monk’s poor documentation that possibility bungled up by the monk and then later blaming on the transcribers. Either way it doesn’t make any sense. Either the monk was thinking exceedingly great of Armenians at the time of documentation and wrote the name of Armenia while was thinking of Armorica or the monk didn’t know the history of Brits adequately.

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