Karahunj : The Origin of The Name
Some suggest the English name “Stonehenge” may be inherited from the Ancient Armenians. Karahunj can be divided into two roots, ‘kara’ (which means ‘of stone’) and ‘hunj’. There are several theories about the meaning of ‘hunj’ root. Some historians think that ‘hunj’ is a possible variation of Armenian word ‘punj’ (bouquet). Others think that this root is closer to the Armenian word for voice, which is ‘hunchuin’, and the names Karahunj and Stonehenge both mean “Singing Stones”.
It is located on a plateau at an altitude of 1770 m above sea level. Karahunj or Zorats Karer include ancient tombs, graves and burial of more than two hundred standing stones up to 3 meters (menhirs), which occupies an area of about 3 hectares. 76 of the stones have 5-7 cm diameter holes bored through them which might be an observing viewpoints to locate where the Moon and the rise on different dates. The first mention of Karahunj in writing was found in the works of Stepan Orbelyan, 13-14’s centuries.
In fact, Karahunj complex is not the only one in Armenia. Similar stones were found in Shirak and numerous places between Lake Sevan and the southern Syunik. There one can find encountered big rough basalt stones height of 2-3 meters. On numerous stones were carved the early-Christian crosses, while others were turned into artful cross-stones, but a sign of the oldest work on the rocks is the presence of holes. One can find this stones in cemeteries, church walls, or in the fields.
Karahunj : Ancient Observatory
Recent studies conducted in Karahunj engendered new disputes relating to the year of the complex foundation. Most scholars suggest that Armenia is one of the oldest centers of astronomy. The age of Karahunj has been estimated to be 7500 years, while Stonehenge was built approximately 4500 years ago.