These pillars in Kenya provided a calendar 500 years before Stonehenge was erected; the iconic Stonehenge circles (if you don’t know) were built between 2500 BCE and 2000 BCE.
Namoratunga, located in Turkana County, Kenya, is an ancient astronomical site with megalithic pillars dating back to around 3000 BC. The site holds significant importance due to the following discoveries:
1. Alignment with celestial bodies: The megalithic pillars at Namoratunga are arranged in specific alignments, indicating a deliberate effort to align them with celestial objects. Researchers have found that the pillars align with key astronomical events such as the rising and setting points of the stars and the movement of the moon and other celestial bodies.
2. Astronomical calendar: The arrangement of the pillars suggests that the site was used as an astronomical calendar or observatory. It is believed that the ancient inhabitants of Namoratunga used the site to track the movements of celestial bodies and mark important events such as solstices, equinoxes, and other celestial alignments. This indicates their advanced understanding of astronomical phenomena and their connection to seasonal changes.
3. Cultural and religious significance: The presence of an astronomical site in Namoratunga signifies the cultural and religious practices of the ancient people who inhabited the region. It suggests that they had a deep knowledge and reverence for the celestial realm, incorporating it into their daily lives, rituals, and beliefs. The site provides insight into the spiritual and cosmological worldview of the ancient Turkana people, showcasing their relationship with the sky and the natural environment.
The archaeological research on Namoratunga was conducted by a team of researchers led by Professor Lynch and Professor Robins from the University of Nairobi, Kenya. They conducted extensive fieldwork and investigations at the site, studying the megalithic pillars and their alignment with celestial bodies.
Calendars preceded: Babylonian calendar (since the 2nd millennium BC), Chinese calendar (since the Shang Dynasty, around 14th century BC), Gregorian calendar (since 1582 AD), Hindu calendar (since 1500-1000 BC, with regional variations), Mayan calendar (from the Preclassic period, around 2000 BC), Persian calendar (since the Achaemenid Empire, around the 6th century BC), Roman Republic calendar (since around 509 BCE).
Overall, the discoveries at Namoratunga highlight the advanced astronomical knowledge and cultural practices of the people who lived in the area around 3000 BC. The site serves as evidence of their deep connection with the celestial world and their ability to observe and interpret astronomical phenomena, leaving behind a remarkable archaeological testament to their understanding of the cosmos.
Source: Lynch, B. M., and L. H. Robbins. “Namoratunga: The First Archeoastronomical Evidence in Sub-Saharan Africa.” Science, vol. 200, no. 4343, 1978, pp. 766–68. JSTOR,