Zorats Karer

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Location: Sisian, Syunik region
Established: IV mil. BC
From Yerevan: 200km/3h 20min

Complex «Zorats Karer» (Karahunj) is located near Sisian city of Syunik region. Name «Zorats Karer», meaning «stones of power», can be explained by the fact that the stones are situated on one the most energetic points of the planet. Some researchers suggest, that word «zorats» has a semantic connection with root «zoh» (it is translated into English as «victim»), and that is why we can interpret the expression as «place for sacrifice» as well.  

«Karahunj» consists of several groups of constructions and separate stones, which form the whole monument. The monument includes: central part, Northern wing, Southern wing, North-Eastern stone path, central crossing, as well as separate standing stones. 

The height of these basalt stones is 0.5 to 3 meters, and the weight is 10 t. Most of the stones are preserved, but covered with mold because of erosion. The holes are preserved better; there are also several broken stones. 

Stones of «Karahunj» were extracted from the stone mine of the Dar River; erected and transferred with the help of braided yarn and cattle. The holes were made and polished with the help of astronomical instruments.
In 1931 accidentally a destroyed crypt was found under one of the stones. Part of the found materials was transferred to History Museum of Armenia. Studies of the preserved excavations show, that the crypt is of Middle Bronze Age and dates back to I quarter of II millennium BC. The settlement, noticed near «Karahunj», is of about the same period. The materials, collected on the territory during many years date back to the III millennium BC. 

It is supposed, that complex «Zorats Karer» was built in VI millennium BC and served as an observatory. Such kind of archaeological monuments were found in Europe as well. The most famous one is Stonehenge, which dates back to II millennium BC. "Portakar" is another interesting site of that period. 

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