Astronomical Complex
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Astronomical Complex

An astronomical complex or commemorative astronomical complex is a series of man-made structures with an astronomical purpose. It has been used when referring to a group of Megalithic structures that it is claimed show high precision astronomical alignments.[1][2] For the study of Archaeoastronomy, such complexes of similar structures are required for adequate measurement and calculation to ensure that similar celestial sightlines were intended by the designers. These arrangements have also been known as observational, ceremonial or ritual complexes with importance for the study of prehistoric cultures.

The term has been used in the naming of various series of observatories used for observing the stars in modern times.[3][4]

Ancient astronomical complexes

Examples of suggested ancient astronomical complexes that may have been used as solar and lunar observatories include, in reverse-chronological order:


Western Europe

Central Europe

Nile Valley


  • In 2006, then Atlit Yam was discovered in Israel in 2009, dated with certainty to at least 6300 BCE, at which point it was abandoned and submerged in the Mediterranean, but still being excavated and analyzed as of 2014. Atlit Yam has human skeletons ceremoniously buried, and is a small semi-circle of long, narrow uprighted stones etched with cup marks.
  • Rogem Hiri, 40,000,000 kg of stone with a 'gate' or opening in the outer stone circle through which the sun rises on each Summer Solstice (with this 'gate' matching the Summer Solstice's sunrise even more accurately millennia ago), and a burial chamber in the center under two 5-tonne megaliths, a layer of circa 3,000 BCE exposed, with a surveyed but unexcavated, estimated 4,000 BCE, layer beneath.
  • Mnajdra and other Megalithic Temples of Malta, circa 3100 BCE and younger.

Modern astronomical complexes

Examples of modern astronomical complexes of stellar observatories include:


  1. ^ Juan Pedro Laporte (1993). Tikal y Uaxactún en el preclásico. UNAM. pp. 5, 9, 27, 37, 38, 72, 79, 81, 86 & 90. ISBN 978-968-36-2673-8. Retrieved 2011.
  2. ^ Fialko, Vilma., Laporte, Juan Pedro., New Perspectives on Old Problems: Dynastic references for the Early Classic at Tikal. In Vision and Revision in Maya Studies, edited by F. Clancy and P. Harrison, pp. 33-66, Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press.
  3. ^ "National Parks and Reserves in Argentina: El Leoncito National Park". Ripio Turismo. Archived from the original on 8 September 2006. Retrieved .
  4. ^ "Public Outreach". Complejo Astronomico El Leoncito. Archived from the original on 2006-08-29. Retrieved .
  5. ^ Prudence M. Rice (2004). Maya Political Science: Time, Astronomy, and the Cosmos. University of Texas Press. p. 87. ISBN 978-0-292-70569-2.
  6. ^ University College; London. Institute of Archaeology (2000). Archaeology international. Institute of Archaeology, University College London. Retrieved 2011.
  7. ^ Hawkins, Gerald., Stonehenge Decoded, Nature, 200, 306-308, 1963
  8. ^ Hawkins, Gerald., Callanish, a Scottish Stonehenge, Science, 147, 127-130, 1965.
  9. ^ D. C. Heggie (1982). Archaeoastronomy in the Old World. Cambridge University Press. p. 191. ISBN 978-0-521-24734-4.
  10. ^ Hoppit, David (1978). "The Wandlebury Enigma Solved? - Line A Loxodrome". Sunday Telegraph Magazine, Issue 78, March 18th.
  11. ^ Bauval, Robert (2007). The Egypt Code. Red Wheel Weiser. p. 277. ISBN 978-1-934708-21-7.
  12. ^ Johnson, Mark, R., University of Idaho Astronomical Complex, Moscow, Idaho, 214 pages, University of Idaho, 1984
  13. ^ Grothkopf, Uta., Astronomical Society of the Pacific conference serie, Volume 153, p. 3, Astronomical Society of the Pacific, 1998.
  14. ^ Henry Robinson Luce, Time, Volume 87, Issues 1-12, p. 84, Time Inc., 1966.

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