(Originally published 2nd December 2022, updated October 2023)
During the early morning sunrise on December 20th 2021, we (Hugh Newman and JJ Ainsworth) witnessed a stunning winter solstice alignment phenomenon at Karahan Tepe in southeast Turkey that had not been observed since it was deliberately covered over at the end of its use, c.10,000 years ago. Karahan Tepe is 11,400 years old, so the authors propose this is the earliest ever proof of the winter solstice being incorporated into a megalithic structure and redefines what we know about the sophistication of the Pre-Pottery Neolithic people at this time.
The alarm woke us suddenly at 5am. In our confused state, we remembered we were against the clock. We simply had to be at the site for sunrise, or we may never get to see the newly excavated Pre-Pottery Neolithic complex of Karahan Tepe. The previous evening, Hugh received a message from Ismail after he had briefly visited the site in the afternoon (Ismail Can is a member of the family that owns the land where the excavation is taking place). The message said that ‘officials’ and the ‘archaeologists’ were coming ‘first thing in the morning’ to cover over the site for the winter. We dressed, washed, and grabbed our cameras, eating our breakfast in the car. The hotel’s restaurant was yet to open, but we managed to snag these few items. It was still dark outside, and the ground was wet. Clouds were in the sky, and as we climbed into the rental car, we prayed they would disperse in time for the sunrise.
Şanlıurfa city is a beautiful place before dawn. Quiet and still, the caves that lined the streets were still artificially lit as we sped by them to get on the highway out of town. We knew where we were going and decided on one of three possible routes. The two shorter but more treacherous routes, or the one that took us to a newly paved road leading to the site. We decided on the latter.
As we drove at a speed probably on the edge of the legal limit, we discussed what we might see when we got there. Today was the winter solstice. It was cold, and it was windy, but the forecast looked good. We felt we would witness something remarkable this morning as our good friend and author Andrew Collins had found an alignment recording the summer solstice sunset at the place we were heading to. The winter sunrise is on the same alignment but in the opposite direction, so was this also built into the site, we wondered?
The clock was ticking, and we felt we’d be lucky to get a few minutes at the site before the officials arrived. We turned off the highway on the newly paved road, taking us through the arid Tektek mountains with dozens of stone hills protruding out of a martian, dead landscape. It felt like visiting another world. We saw blue skies for the first time and breaks in the clouds. As we arrived, we checked the time. It was a few minutes after sunrise, yet some clouds were still blocking the light. Would we see anything worthy of this effort? Would the sun grace us with its presence?
The new visitor centre was now in place, and we messaged Ismail, who agreed to be our official guide for the morning. We drank an obligatory glass of tea with him and his brothers before hurriedly climbing the hill to the area of excavation. The sun was starting to break through, and as the cold wind made its icy presence felt, first light was hitting some of the enclosures. We had made it to Karahan Tepe, arguably the most important archaeological discovery of the 21st century, and we were not disappointed.
Karahan Tepe (formerly called Keçili Tepe) lies approximately 37 km (23 miles) southeast of its more famous sister site, Göbekli Tepe, which was built a few hundred years earlier. Karahan Tepe has been dated to 11,400 – 10,200 years old, with over 250 monoliths recorded at the site, mostly T-pillars, as well as many unique stone carvings and statues recently unearthed. Like at Göbekli Tepe, this site is covered with many strange depictions of humans, symbols, and animals, but also with a sunken pit containing phallic-shaped pillars and a 3D portrayal of a human head with a serpentine neck. The artefacts from the excavation are now on display at the Şanlıurfa Archaeology Museum.
Karahan Tepe is a unique Pre-Pottery Neolithic complex built upon a large limestone hill in the Tektek Mountains. When viewing the horizon from its peak, it feels like it is in the middle of nowhere. There are several sites of a similar age and style being excavated right now in a zone called ‘Taş Tepeler,’ meaning ‘Stone Hills/Mounds’. This covers an area of 124 miles in width. Karahan Tepe is one of 11 sites under investigation. Göbekli Tepe, being the primary site, is the only one currently open to the public. At the time of writing, Karahan Tepe is yet to officially open, but visitors are welcome.
Hugh first explored the un-excavated site of Karahan Tepe in 2014 with Andrew Collins, with a further visit in 2015, and more recently with JJ Ainsworth in 2018. During these early visits, only the tops of T-pillars on the surface of the hill, an 18ft-long unfinished T-shaped monolith below the hill on the western edge, and some relief carvings on a few stones were visible.1 For many years, it was an enduring mystery as to what was going to be found underneath. On previous visits, our minds raced with ideas regarding what might lie beneath our feet. Could this site be as awe-inspiring as Göbekli Tepe? What mysteries would eventually be revealed here?
In 2019, excavation finally began, led by archaeologist Prof. Necmi Karul, associate professor in the Prehistory Department of Istanbul University. As his team slowly uncovered the northern slopes of the stone hill, some astonishing discoveries began to be made. One of the most fascinating elements of the excavation was the ‘hypogeum’ style chambers and pits and the way the western side of the main 23m (75ft) wide enclosure (Structure AD) has what appeared to be T-Pillars carved out of solid bedrock, whilst others in the circle were free-standing. The site looks like it was damaged (or decommissioned) before it was deliberately and very carefully covered over. Having said that, less than five percent of Karahan Tepe has been opened up so far.
Necmi Karul wrote a paper examining the techniques and implications of the burying process2, suggesting this was a very important part of the complex. He focussed on Structure AB (also called the Pillar Shrine), a 7m by 6m (30ft by 19ft) pit with 10 bedrock pillars, a free-standing monolith and a protruding carved head on the western wall. Its elongated neck has serpent scales etched into it and a V-shape under the chin. On the southeast edge of the Pillar Shrine is a 70cm (2.3ft) wide porthole that leads out to the main enclosure. Like at Göbekli Tepe, numerous holed stones have been unearthed, with this one fixed in place due to it being carved from the bedrock.
The Pillar Shrine has a roughly egg-shaped plan. The 11th pillar is the only one not carved directly out of the bedrock; rather, it is inserted into a carved socket at its base. Martin Sweatman suggests this could be one-half of an oval holed stone.3 Standing 1.6-1.7m (5.2 – 5.6ft) high, the four pillars lined up in front of the head were crafted more elaborately than those in the back row, which are 1-1.4m (3 – 3.6ft) tall. Most pillars are conical, perfectly upright, and all, except one, are shaped like an erect phallus. Below the porthole are worn steps, which may have been where people would climb down after entering through the hole from Structure AD.
Observing the Winter Solstice Sun Effect
The authors visited Karahan Tepe early in the morning on the winter solstice 2021 (and more recently in December 2022) to see if any alignments would be revealed. Having a long-standing interest in archaeoastronomy and the fact that numerous alignments had been proposed at both Karahan Tepe and Göbekli Tepe, this was the first time the site had been excavated enough to witness such phenomena. Through a series of serendipitous events, we arrived at the site in time to record something remarkable.
The sunrise took place at 7.37am with the clouds now starting to disperse. Ten minutes later (7.47am), we photographed a small blade of sunlight highlighting one side of the protruding head (note that we previously stated it was 50 mins after sunrise,4 now corrected to 10 mins). The light continued to slowly light up the serpentine neck, one cheek, and then it moved towards the mouth and neck, taking about 45 minutes before disappearing from the face. The blade of light was coming directly through the porthole stone, rotating westwards at an angle where it would become wider and illuminate more of the face during the process. As the sun rose higher, more of the stone cranium began to be bathed in light, but the other 11 pillars still remained in the shade. JJ set up a camera to film the process while Hugh got shots from as many angles as possible. From 8.30am the top part of the porthole blocked the light to the head, but at 8.50am, the forehead and scalp were photographed in full sunlight. We wondered if it was designed to illuminate the neck and face for 45 minutes, pause for a moment of darkness, then reveal a ‘halo’ of light at the final stage around the top of the head. As the sun continued rising, darkness prevailed in the Pillar Shrine, the sun rotating westwards behind the rocky hill. It took some time to sink in that we were the first observers of this phenomenon since the Pillar Shrine was deliberately covered over some ten millennia ago. We felt like we were witnessing one of the biblical gods, or a ‘Shining One,’ who had emerged from his or her slumber to gaze upon a very different world.
It also appears from the layout of the main enclosure (Structure AD) that the sun would have beamed through between the two central pillars when they were upright, going through the 70cm-wide porthole at a sharp angle, before hitting the stone head, illuminating the chamber as described above. Necmi Karul stated that the stone head “looks to the entrance”5, meaning towards the porthole stone, as though the eyes were carved to show it looking through the hole towards the winter solstice sunrise.
At this point, it is worth noting that natural features at the site may have been originally recognised by the builders, perhaps seeing the stone protrusion (which later was carved into the shape of a head and neck) and a natural holed-stone in the upright bedrock. We hypothesise that this area was chosen to be an early observation platform used by star-watchers, possibly from Göbekli Tepe, before it was built into what we see today.
“The two solstices were strongly emphasised… Midwinter, moreover, was recorded almost twice as heavily as midsummer… It is clear the turning points of the year, particularly the time of change from darkness and cold to light and warmth, were of very great importance to prehistoric people.”6
We sent our initial findings to Andrew Collins, who, with archaeoastronomer and engineer Rodney Hale, checked if this alignment was valid during the era of Karahan Tepe. They found that in 9000 BC, the sun’s rays would have passed through the porthole at a slightly better angle than it does today, giving a clear illumination of the stone head.
We returned to Karahan Tepe in December 2022 with Collins to observe the sunrise over three consecutive mornings to get a more accurate reading of the phenomenon. Before we give you our results, note that over the past 11,000 years, the angle of the ecliptic has shifted by about 1º. The earth was at its maximum tilt in 8700 BC, which is very close to the date of Karahan Tepe. This solstice angle would have been very close to the extreme solstice angle at its most southerly position as part of the 41,000-year cycle at 24.5º (it is now at 23.44º). This change in the earth’s tilt from the obliquity cycle slightly changes the position of the winter solstice sunrise over millennia. This means that when Karahan Tepe was being constructed, the angle was approximately one degree further south than today at the latitude of Karahan Tepe.
The timing of the solstice has shifted considerably due to the Precession of the Equinoxes (a 25,920-year-cycle where a slight wobble of the earth’s axis shifts by 1º every 72 years) from around mid-February in 9000 BC to around December 21st in the current era (based upon the modern calendar). However, this does not affect the position of the sunrise at the time of the winter solstice. The winter solstice was then, and is now, the shortest day and longest night of the year. This has all been taken into account in this analysis.
During our visit in December 2022, we took multiple photo stills using the Theodolite App (above) of the sunrise as it occurred on the horizon and noted its position on the landscape. We later compared this to our initial readings in 2021 and to where the sun would rise in 9000 BC using Stellarium Astronomy Software.
On 20th December 2021, the sunrise was at 7.37am; this is an azimuth 119º50’. The sun starts shining through the porthole at 7.47am at azimuth 121º28’ and 2º altitude and continued until 8.30am at 128º12’ azimuth at an altitude 8º50’.
On the winter solstice in 9000 BC, the sunrise was at 7.57am; this is an azimuth 121º1’. Ten minutes later, at 8.07am the sun reaches 122º44’ azimuth and altitude 2º when it starts illuminating the stone head. This would continue, as it does in 2021, for about 45 minutes. This takes into account refraction for a temperature of 15º Celsius.
To summarise, the sun would appear just over one degree to the right (south on the horizon) compared to where the sun is located in the current era. The sun’s average diameter is 0.536º in width. Basically, just over one sun-width would fit between the current sunrise and that of 9000 BC (due to the change in the ecliptic). The sun’s rays would have passed through the porthole at a slightly lower angle than today, which is notable and would give a better illumination of the stone head. This is because rather than the initial light hitting the back of the neck of the stone head, it would begin closer to the face and therefore, illuminate it in a more complete way. These elements combined prove that this alignment was not only valid 11,000 years ago but would have provided a better light effect on the head. We can now confirm that the alignment was deliberate, and the precise location of the carved hole in the porthole stone was essential for this purpose.7
This particular discovery at Karahan Tepe may have been the world’s first sundial (or a negative sundial, as the light rather than the shadow is the marker), as it measures the solar year to within a few minutes. It is arguably the world’s oldest known ‘solar clock’ using the winter solstice to restart the cycle. The light coming through the porthole stone during the equinoxes and summer solstice sunrises (and all in-between) would be out of line with the stone head and would not touch any of the pillars in the Pillar Shrine, only illuminating part of a blank wall between the porthole and the head. Therefore, the winter solstice alignment at Karahan Tepe works perfectly as an annual marker to begin the year and can still be witnessed today.
Winter Solstice Alignments Worldwide
Archaeoastronomers are thought to usually look for the moment of sunrise to use as a specific time marker, but as we witnessed at Karahan Tepe, its first effects are about 10 minutes later. Numerous other sites which are famous for their solar alignments also follow this rule. For example, the winter solstice at Newgrange (c.3200 BC) in the Boyne Valley of Ireland is also ‘late’ in astronomical terms as it begins 4 minutes after sunrise and lasts for a total of 17 minutes. The sun’s light passes through a very small holed stone (lightbox) above the main entrance, illuminating the passageway and roofed chamber, highlighting certain carvings and a stone bowl on its way through. Of interest to our study was the fact that a 24cm-long polished sandstone phallus was found inside, with archaeologists commenting that fertility rites may have been carried out there.8
The original Gaelic name of Newgrange, An Uanh Greine, means ‘Cave of the Sun.’ At nearby Loughcrew, the equinox sun (in March and September) illuminates numerous carvings moving slowly west to east across the inscribed stone. This takes 50 minutes to complete.
Further examples of winter solstice sunrise alignments are found worldwide. At Karnak in Egypt (c.2055 BC), for example, for 25 minutes, the sun’s rays pierce the Sanctuary of Amun Ra, finally reaching the ‘Holy of Holies’ in the heart of the site. On Rapa Nui (Easter Island), a system of holes bored in the rock at the Orongo ruins was found to indicate the December 21st solstice (summer solstice in the southern hemisphere).9 In Malta, the megalithic temple of Ħaġar Qim (c.3600 BC) has an entrance orientated to the winter solstice. Direct sunlight passes through the main doorway and falls on the main altar. As the sun rises higher, it shifts to the left side along the main corridor and reaches the total length of the passageway before it begins to retreat. A similar phenomenon happens at Mnajdra (c.3500 BC), where a dagger of light illuminates a vertical slab in the first apse. On the summer solstice, it appears on the other side of the apse.10 Many Maltese sites have porthole stones, like those found at both Göbekli Tepe and Karahan Tepe, which were utilised to direct the sunrise light into the interior of temples. However, according to Lenie Reedijk and moving closer to the era of Karahan Tepe, Ħaġar Qim may have aligned to the setting of Sirius in 9150 BC when it started to appear just above the horizon (similar alignments have been proposed at Göbekli Tepe11). This could push the dating of Maltese temples back to the time of the Taş Tepeler sites in Turkey.12
Two substantial summer solstice alignments have been found in Israel: at Jericho (8300 BC) and Atlit Yam (7400 BC to 6000 BC). Jericho, famous for its walls and stone tower, is located in Palestinian territory east of Jerusalem, with continuous occupation since Pre-Pottery Neolithic times. The Jericho Tower dates to 8300 BC and is 9m wide, and 8m tall with an interior stepped passage which orients to azimuth 290° (or 20° north of west). 10,000 years ago, the summer solstice sunset would have illuminated the passage of the tower.13
Atlit Yam is a submerged late Pre-Pottery Neolithic B complex, situated 30 ft underwater off the Northern Carmel coast, covering 10 acres. Its notable feature is a semi-stone circle with cup-marks on it. Next to the circle are parallel stone walls which align to the summer solstice sunrise, like we find at Stonehenge. Archaeoastronomer Clive Ruggles confirmed that the two corridors at Atlit Yam were: “… oriented in the direction of sunrise on the June solstice.”1
Stonehenge (c.3000 BC), famous for its summer solstice sunrise alignment, is also aligned to the winter solstice sunrise.15 There is a direct sightline that runs through the monument, aligning along the ‘Altar Stone’ going through a deliberately carved notch (which frames it perfectly), pointing directly at the rising point of the sun over Coneybury Hill in the distance. Stonehenge also contains a perfect winter solstice sunset orientation matching the direction of the avenue (exactly opposite to the summer solstice sunrise).16 Feasting and community gatherings also took place over the winter solstice at nearby Durrington Walls. Furthermore, three huge Mesolithic post holes date the earliest phase of the site back to 8000 BC.
In Carnac, Brittany, the Crucuno Quadrilateral megalithic site (c.4000 BC) incorporates the winter and summer solstices to its corners. It is laid out as a 3-4-5 Pythagorean triangle, measuring 30 by 40 by 50 megalithic yards in size (a megalithic yard is 2.72 feet or 0.83 metres and used frequently in British stone circles). Dolmen de Rondossec has two chambers aligned to the winter solstice, where the back stone gets illuminated. The angle of the solstice at this latitude is the precise diagonal of a 3-4-5 Pythagorean triangle. This was incorporated not only into the sites but also over vast distances between sites. Strikingly similar geometries have been found in the Taş Tepeler region (details of this are in the book Göbekli Tepe and Karahan Tepe: The World’s First Megaliths by Hugh Newman).
If we move closer to the modern era, one fascinating example can be found at Chaco Canyon, Arizona (c.490 AD). A small yet remarkable petroglyph of a spiral or labyrinth records a blade of light entering from a thin gap in the rocks above, marking the solstices. On the winter solstice, two daggers of light appear either side of the petroglyph for 49 minutes, during which they precisely frame the spiral.17 On the summer solstice, one ‘light dagger’ illuminates the central axis of the spiral.
Did a roof at Karahan Tepe block the alignment?
Artistic representations of the site suggest the main enclosure at Karahan Tepe once had a roof held up by the T-pillars. However, no evidence of any roofs has been found at either Karahan Tepe or Göbekli Tepe. Only circumstantial evidence suggests these were instead ‘houses’.18 In regards to Karahan Tepe, if a roof was in place, it would have been quite possibly the largest in the world at the time, as the enclosure is nearly 23 m (75 ft) wide. Even if one was in place, it could easily have left an opening to the southeast to allow the low passing of the sun to illuminate the stone head on the winter solstice.
Having a temporary roof over the Pillar Shrine may have some basis in reality as it has clear ledges and flat surfaces to place one there. However, the two rows of pillars are at different heights, and the top of the head is also slightly higher than both. Furthermore, a roof being used during this time of year would have certainly enhanced the experience, illuminating the chamber in a more profound way.
The winter solstice phenomena, having been directly observed in real-time, is hard to ignore, so even if a roof once existed, it may not have hindered astronomical observations, much like we find at sites such as Newgrange.
Summer Solstice Sunset and a Lunisolar Calendar
Further research by Andrew Collins has revealed that the Milky Way plays an important role in the solstices. During the night, at the time of the winter solstice, the Milky Way slowly rises horizontally through the sky before the sunrise occurs. Furthermore, in October 2021, Collins found a summer solstice sunset alignment oriented along the primary direction of the second unfinished hypogeum pit (Structure AA). This revealed that in 9000 BC, the Milky Way would be vertical above the horizon 2.5 hours later in the same position at the sunset.19
Collins also found that from the southern entrance of the main enclosure (Structure AD), when looking through the porthole stone over the phallic monoliths in the Pillar Shrine and to the peak of nearby Keçili Hill (where there are ruins), the setting of Cygnus would have occurred in 9000 BC, as it does at Göbekli Tepe.
At Göbekli Tepe, Enclosure F (a smaller, later structure west of the main group) is oriented west-southwest to east-northeast to within a degree of the rising of the sun at the time of the summer solstice and the setting of the sun at the winter solstice.20
Martin Sweatman has suggested a Lunisolar calendar was in use at Karahan Tepe (and on Pillar 43 at Göbekli Tepe).21 The 11 pillars in the Pillar Shrine, he proposed, represent the 11 Lunar months and 11 epagomenal days (intercalary month), which are used to complete a solar year. The free-standing 11th pillar could represent the summer solstice, which Sweatman believes was a unique epagomenal day at Göbekli Tepe. The stone head may represent the final lunar month. To summarise:
Stone Head = 1 lunar month = 29 or 30 days
+ 11 pillars = 11 more lunar months = 354 days
- 11 pillars = 11 epagomenal days (of which one, the summer solstice, is special) = 365 days at 1 solar year
Although Sweatman’s ideas do not take into account the newly discovered alignment (which could give credence to his theory), it certainly contributes to the debate. The winter solstice sunrise alignment is highly likely to have been the observable annual time-marker that restarted a calendar every year. The moon, as Sweatman emphasises in his paper, may also have played a part in the calendrical and ceremonial cycle.
The Moon and Eclipses
It is an astronomical fact that there would have been certain full moons near the summer solstice, which moved along the same path as the winter solstice sun. This bright full moon could have lit up the stone head through the porthole, much like the sun does during the winter solstice. Skywatchers at this time would have identified these moments during the 18.6 year period when the full moon is located on or near one of the nodes in the solstice positions. We asked Andrew Collins and Rodney Hale to investigate this, and they concluded: “In 9015 BC, according to Stellarium and Hale’s calculations, the full moon would indeed have cast its light into Structure AB to illuminate the stone head on the west wall, just as the sun would have done at the time of the winter solstice.”22 This would have occurred just before the summer solstice (which would have been during August in 9015 BC).
A full moon in such a position has a high likelihood of being eclipsed because it is always located directly opposite to the sun. When the sun is at standstill during the summer solstice, and the moon takes the position of where the sun was at winter solstice, eclipses would occasionally occur and could have been recorded at Karahan Tepe by direct observation. If one year it occurred on or close to the summer solstice, it may also have coincided with the Milky Way rising vertically in the sky 2.5 hours after sunset. More research needs to be carried out to check this, but this rare alignment of the full moon, a possible eclipse, and a vertical Milky Way would have been a spectacular sight to behold during the summer solstice period. The solstices were clearly important time markers for the megalith builders in the Taş Tepeler region.
The Importance of Venus in Time-keeping
In addition to all this, there is potential evidence of longer cycles recorded at Karahan Tepe. Every eight years, the planet Venus (‘the morning and evening star’) rises one hour before sunrise on the winter solstice on the same path as the sun. Its light may have been bright enough to illuminate the giant stone head through the porthole stone; this occurring, for example, in 9002 BC, 9010 BC, 9018 BC, and so on. This same Venus alignment has been reported in connection with Newgrange’s own winter solstice phenomena, where it could have been bright enough to illuminate the interior of the chamber.23
Over a period of eight solar years, Venus completes five synoptic cycles, each one being 584 days in length. At the end of this time, the planet returns close to the same position it started the cycle. It gets more compelling when five cycles complete a larger forty-year cycle, but this time it returns to its exact position in the sky (although two days earlier).
In the same years as Venus’ heliacal rising at the time of the winter solstice, the planet rises 30 minutes after sunrise on the vernal equinox (around March 21st in today’s calendar); this occurring once every eight years (or five Venus years), and since Venus is the third brightest object in the sky, it could well have been visible even in daylight. However, on the equinoxes of 9004 BC, 9006 BC and 9009 BC, it would have risen between one and two hours before the sun, indicating it was being observed during the equinox periods, and was clearly visible in the night sky, again, following the same path as the sun.
The stone head in the Pillar Shrine faces east, towards the spring and autumn equinox sunrises. Along with this, a channel is carved out of the bedrock from the Pillar Shrine in this direction. The eastern sky is also the direction of another phenomenon that occurs during the equinox sunrise: the rising of the constellation of Leo, which may have been seen as a leopard rather than a lion (due to the significant number of leopard carvings at Karahan Tepe). This appears in the night sky just before sunrise. Authors Robert Bauval and Graham Hancock controversially theorised that the Sphinx in Egypt faces eastwards as a marker for the rising of Leo during the vernal equinox as far back as 10,500 BC24 (In the current era, Pisces rises in the east). We must ask now, was it observed at sites such as Karahan Tepe first, but in the guise of a leopard?
Combined with the winter solstice marker in time, Karahan Tepe may have been the innovation centre designed to bring the movements of the sky down to earth and fix these calendars in place, no doubt counting the days to establish important times for celebration and also to know when to plant crops and breed livestock. Another Taş Tepeler site that has come to light called Sayburç, contemporary with Karahan Tepe, has a tantalising translation of its name: Say = counting, burç = sign of the zodiac, Birc (in Kurdish) = tower or watchtower. It seems that even place names still today hold keys to understanding the purpose of these sites.
At some point, perhaps close to 8000 BC, it was decided to close down Karahan Tepe. After nearly 1500 years of use, the final observation of the winter solstice alignment may have been chosen for this special day before the Pillar Shrine was carefully filled in with stone, debris, soil and finally, larger flagstones completing the process. Those who took part in this decommissioning of the site can be imagined foreseeing the future, envisioning who would be the first people to once again witness this unique winter solstice illumination. That day came on 20th December 2021 and will no doubt be witnessed by many more in the years to come.
1. Newman, Hugh. The Forgotten Stones of Karahan Tepe, Turkey. 2014. https://www.ancient-origins.net/ancient-places-europe-opinion-guest-authors/forgotten-stones-karahan-tepe-turkey-001917
2. Prof. Dr. Karul, Necmi. Buried Buildings at Pre-Pottery Neolithic Karahantepe. 2021. Türk Arkeoloji ve Etnografya Dergisi 82
3. Sweatman, Martin. Representations of calendars and time at Göbekli Tepe and Karahan Tepe support an astronomical interpretation of their symbolism. 2021/2023. https://martinsweatman.blogspot.com/2023/03/another-update-to-my-lunisolar-paper.html
4. Newman, Hugh, and Ainsworth, J.J. 2021. Karahan Tepe: Stunning New Discovery of Winter Solstice Sunrise Alignment. https://www.ancient-origins.net/news-history-archaeology/karahan-tepe-winter-solstice-0016212
5. Graham Hancock interviewing Necmi Karul inside the Pillar Shrine on Ancient Apocalypse, Episode 5, ‘Legacy of the Sages’, Netflix, 2022
6. Burl, Aubrey, The Stone Circles of Britain, Ireland and Brittany. Yale University Press, 2000. p.62
7. Personal communication by email with Andrew Collins and Rodney Hale. Also, during the initial excavation of the Structure AB, it shows that the top part of the portal stone was broken off, but whether this was an accident by excavators, or was found like this is unclear. It was subsequently repaired and put back in its original position by the archaeologists. This broken lintel can be seen in Graham Hancock’s Netflix show Ancient Apocalypse (2022) where filming took place in late 2020, just before the repair. Many other ancient sites have been restored in a similar way and do not affect alignments like this one at Karahan Tepe.
8. Murphy, Anthony and Moore, Richard. Island of the Setting Sun: In Search of Ireland’s Ancient Astronomers. Liffey Press 2006. p.173
9. Ramirez and Huber. Easter Island, pp. 53, 110 and https://www.ancient-wisdom.com/easterisland.htm
10. Degirmenci, B.Kristin. Sun Worship and the Magnificent Megalithic Temples of the Maltese Islands. https://www.academia.edu/34500080/Sun_Worship_and_the_Magnificent_Megalithic_Temples_of_the_Maltese_Islands
11. Magli, Giulio. Sirius and the project of the megalithic enclosures at Gobekli Tepe. 2013
12. Reedijk, Lenie. Sirius: The Star of the Maltese Temples. Malet Books, 2018. p.126
13. Barkai, Ran and Liran, Roy. Midsummer Sunset at Neolithic Jericho. Time & Mind. Vol 1, Issue 3. Pp.273-284. 2008
14, Archaeoastronomer Clive Ruggles in The Mystery of Atlit Yam Documentary, Jean Bergeron 2014. However, he states it is the summer solstice sunset in https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-030-37367-2_23.
15. Banton, Simon. 2022. The Secondary Solstice Axis. https://www.stonehengemonument.co.uk/2022/
16. Daw, Tim. 2012. Stonehenge – The Resurrection Alignment. https://www.sarsen.org/2012/07/stonehenge-resurrection-alignment.html
19. Andrew Collins Karahan Tepe Update #2 Prof. Necmi Karul’s paper on the new discoveries explained. https://youtu.be/GSlGuiIINDA
20. Collins, Andrew. 2014. Karahan Tepe: Gobekli Tepe’s Sister Site Another Temple to the Stars? https://www.andrewcollins.com/page/articles/Karahan.htm
21. Sweatman, Martin. Representations of calendars and time at Göbekli Tepe and Karahan Tepe support an astronomical interpretation of their symbolism. 2021/2023. https://martinsweatman.blogspot.com/2023/03/another-update-to-my-lunisolar-paper.html
22. Collins, Andrew and Hale, Rodney. 2022. A Brief Look at Full Moon Risings at Karahan Tepe for the Epoch 9000-9015 BCE and Some Thoughts on Lunar Synchronizations with the Interior of the site’s Structure AB (Pillars Shrine) (unpublished).
23. Knight, Christopher and Lomas, Robert. Uriel’s Machine: The Prehistoric Technology That Survived the Flood. Century, 1999, p.281
24. Hancock, Graham and Bauval, Robert. Keeper of Genesis: The Quest for the Hidden Legacy of Mankind. Heineman 1996, p. 76