The repetitive orientation of megaliths, human burials, and cattle burials toward the northern regions of the sky reveals a very early symbolic connection to the heavens at Nabta Playa, Egypt. The groups of shaped stones facing north may have represented spirits of individuals who died on the trail or locally. A second piece of evidence for astronomy at Nabta Playa is the stone circle with its two sightlines toward the north and toward the rising sun at the June solstice. Finally, the five alignments of megaliths, which were oriented to bright stars in the fifth millennium, suggest an even more careful attention to the heavens. The "empty tombs" and deeply buried table rocks of the Complex Structures provide some of the greatest enigmas of Nabta Playa. The recurrent symbolism of the ceremonial centre involves issues that would have been of both practical and symbolic importance to the nomads: death, water, cattle, sun, and stars.
- Pub Date:
- July 2007