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The Goseck circle is a Neolithic structure in Goseck in the Burgenlandkreis district in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. It consists of a set of concentric ditches 75 metres across and two palisade rings containing gates in defined places. It is considered the earliest sun observatory currently known in the world.
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Google earth file: Goseck circle.kmz (1kb, kmz)



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Goseck solar observatory
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Goseck
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Latitude: 51.198171N Longitude: 11.864222E


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Goseck circle
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The Goseck circle consists of a circular Henge-construction with a diameter of 75m in the district of Weissenfels in Saxony-Anhalt. It marks the beginning of a millennia-old astronomical tradition known also from the Nebra skydisk, discovered in 1999, only 25 km distant at Nebra. The reconstructed observatory was opened on the winter solstice, 21 December 2005, with great pageantry, including a spectacular fireworks display.
There are now two concentric wooden palisades, each 2.5 metres high, as well as a ditch and an earthen wall. The 2,300 oaken poles were erected on the same site over a seven-month period.


Latitude: 51.198171N Longitude: 11.864222E

The first evidence of human settlement is from the Neolithic period. The Goseck circle is dated to approximately the 5th millennium BC.
It was discovered by aerial photographs from the 1990s and, since 2003, regarded as the oldest observatory in Europe.

The Goseck circle is a set of four concentric circular ditches a mound, a ditch and two wooden palisades. Three sets of gates, facing southeast, southwest and north, interrupted the palisade. At the winter solstice, watchers at the centre would have seen the sun rise and set through the southeast and southwest openings. The date of the circle is established in the most usual way, by potsherds at the site, whose linear designs, when compared to standard chronologies of pottery styles, suggest that the observatory was built ca 4900 BCE

Excavation of the 6,000-square-metre site found two "sacrificial" pits containing fragments of human bone. There was evidence of a very hot fire in both, but the ash had been removed, which some see as a sign that humans were sacrificed or cremated.

-- Edited by Blobrana at 00:07, 2007-03-02

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