Nowadays it is very difficult for us to definitely clarify when and for what reason several hundreds of vertical basalt obelisks of 3 metres high and more than 9 tones were erected. Situated in the environs of Sisian town in the province of Syunik, about 1800 metres above sea level, this monument reminds regular rows of giants of 300 metres long and 7 hectares wide. It seems as though the regiments were gathered together to begin a fierce battle, but they were bewitched and became motionless by a supernatural power.
The legend connects this image with the name of the monument Zorakarer (powerful stones). The centre of the monument, a large quadrangular Mausoleum arranged with big flagstones (7 metres long, 5 metres wide), is encircled by smaller stones, which in their turn are surrounded by vertical obelisks arranged in the shape of an egg, the sharp end of this 45-metre egg points to the westward. From North to South this egg-shaped circle is intersected by rows of stones, which are 250 metres long and slightly bent towards the West. Perhaps, in front of us we see an old “royal” funeral, whereas the mausoleums surrounded with stone circles were widely spread in the culture of the Armenian Plateau of the 2nd-1st millennia B.C. However, a blockade with vertical obelisks or rows with accompanying obelisks has not been seen anywhere. Outwardly the obelisks look like natural stones. If not for the holes bored into them one would say that the builder’s intention was to separate pillarlike splinters from the main rock. Every obelisk has one hole, in exceptional cases two, and these holes are the greatest mysteries of Zorakarer. Some people, considering Zorakarer to be an observatory, believe that they were
made for observing the celestial bodies. Others suggest that the holes were made in order to move the obelisks or erect them in vertical positions with a rope. At the end of the last century there existed an opinion that the holes on the Zorakarer were made for tethering animals. So, in the scientists’ opinion, the monument served as an oldest observatory, a defensive building, an ancient cemetery, a complex for worship and a seasonal residence for nomadic tribes, perhaps, Zorakarer was all of the above or part of them.
The date of erection of these obelisks is similarly disputable. During the archaeological excavations, which was carried out in the territory of the monument, materials dating to early 3rd millennium B. C. has not been discovered till now, and some astronomers’ think that it is a 7500 year-old ancient observatory, that is, it is dated to the 6th millennium B. C. … The situation reminds the history of the well-known Stonehenge, the dispute of the archaeologists and astronomers over which lasted about 70 years and ended with the astronomers’ victory. How will the dispute end over Zorakars, time will show.