The world, a place of countless unsolved mysteries still harbors many ancient ruins preserved in perfect condition. The truth is that, contemplating some buildings built in ancient times, we are perplexed by the majesty that it emits to any observer. One of them is the Chankillo Solar Observatory, the oldest in America.
Although many people today believe that our ancestors were uneducated people who lacked many skillscountless archaeological discoveries indicate otherwise.
An extraordinary proof of the great progress of mankind in ancient times, is the oldest astronomical observatory in America which is located in Peru.
Long before the Incas existed and the worship of the sun god began, this place already existed. But, for what purpose was it built? How could they develop a construction of such magnitude?
Awesome features never seen before
It is true that in other parts of the world there have been places set up to make observations of the moon, the sun, the stars. But these ruins, better known as the “Chakillo” is a perfect work.
The most amazing thing about Chankillo is that it is an observatory with very special characteristics that they did not repeat themselves anywhere in the world. Nail completely unknown civilizationbuilt one of the most famous places in Peru.
Aerial view of the Chankillo Solar Observatory.
The detailed description of a magnificent panorama
The construction site is located located exactly in the desert of the Peruvian coast, about 365 kilometers north of Lima. Currently, it can be visited by tourists.
One of the most amazing parts of this archaeological treasure is that it has a long row of stones. Looking at them from a certain point, one sees clearly a row of 13 small towers made up of rocks. These surround part of the hill and trace its horizon from north to south.
The main structure known as the Thirteen Towers, to many, resembles a spine.
On the other hand, these ruins also include an old three-walled building at the top of the mountain, and is called “the fortified temple”. Besides, there are also two constructions called “the main observatory” and “the administrative center”.
This marvelous construction reveals that the knowledge of astronomy existed in the region long before the Inca Empire.
An unknown story of a famous place
The site dates back at least 2,300 years, and although the buildings are truly famous, no one knows the history. Like many other places in the world, its origin and which civilization built it remains a complete mystery today.
It was concluded that was abandoned in the first century of the Christian era. But the reasons that caused the locals to completely forget about this place are also unknown.
The complex covers some 5,000 hectares, but so far only about 1% has been surveyed. For many years, this construction has puzzled scientists.
The mystery prevails after the investigations
The place seemed important but shrouded in enigma. However, it is only in the 21st century that some researchers became interested and started excavations at a place called “the thirteen towers”.
In plain view during the day it seemed to be a simple accumulation of stones which bordered a hill. But, archaeologists were able to verify that it was something much bigger than messy rocks when they started to investigate. They were shocked when they saw the magnitude of what they were looking at.
For what purpose were the Chankillo towers built?
A study published in the journal Science in 2007 proposed that the sequence of towers erected between 200 and 300 BC “marked the summer and winter solstices” and that Chankillo “was partly a solar observatory”.
Peruvian archaeologist Ivan Ghezzico-author of this study with his British colleague Clive Rugglesexplained that the towers were erected with great precision and placed to mark different positions of the Sun, “allowing exact dates to be marked”.
The Thirteen Towers seen from (a) the west vantage point and (b) the east vantage point, with the recording of the positions of the rising/setting sun at the solstices, equinoxes and the days when the sun made its passage across the zenith and antizenith of the site, around the year 300 BC. From the perspective of the image above, the towers are counted from left to right, thus being tower 13 the one on the far right. Credit: Clive Ruggles.
Its purpose was to time with astonishing precision the months, solstices and equinoxes, planting and harvesting seasons, and religious festivals.
Therefore, these small buildings were located in a really strategic place to predict the time of year. It is possible to do this by carefully observing the sunrise, in the morning or at sunset, using the observation point correctly.
Who built the majestic work?
It is not really known precisely who built this impressive observatory. But there are clues that indicate that he is a civilization that existed long before the Incas. Who for years were listed as the best astronomers of the ancient world.
It was only in 2017 that the purpose of this impressive place was discovered. Credit: Reuters.
Perhaps this ancient culture also viewed the Sun as a deity. A possible proof of this is that there are mysterious stairs leading to each of the towers. For this reason, it was concluded that at some point in history the place served as a ritual center.
You might also be interested in: Circular pyramid: old astronomical observatory which survived a devastating volcano.
Recently, in the year 2021 Chankillo has been included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Although much of the history is unknown, this site is evidence of the great astronomical progress of ancient societies.
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