Archaeologists reveal a supposed ancient astronomical observatory in Australia

Archaeologists believe to have found an ancient observatory at Wurdi Youang, west of Melbourne, Australia, that was used by indigenous Australians to track the movement of the Sun and Moon even 14000 years ago.

The rocks found at the site (by ABC)
The rocks found at the site (by ABC)

According to experts, groups of stones discovered at the site line up with the Sun at the solstices and equinoxes. The observatory consists of hundreds of basalt stones built between 11000 and 14000 years ago. The arrangement of stones forms an “egg-shaped” curve with two straight lines, which align with the setting Sun at the solstices and equinoxes.

The site from aerial perspective (by AFL Science)
The site from aerial perspective (by IFL Science)

The existence of the stones was brought to light in a review of stone alignments in the 1970s. The name Wurdi Youang belongs to the highest hill in the nearby You Yang range. The original indigenous name for the observatory itself is unknown. The exact location has been kept secret to prevent vandalism. The diagram below shows how the ancient observatory was used.

Diagram showing how the ancient observatory might have worked (by IFL Science)
Diagram showing how the ancient observatory might have worked (by IFL Science)

(after ABC & IFL Science)

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