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Paper: Sunrise as Precondition for the Orientation of Grave-Tombs in Ancient Armenia
Volume: 520, Astronomical Heritage of the Middle East
Page: 199
Authors: Simonyan, H. Y.
Abstract: In the beliefs and funeral rites of ancient peoples, great importance was placed on the journey of the deceased to the sacred side of the world. Each religion and culture chose a particular cardinal point that was considered sacred. The orientation of Bronze Age grave pits in Armenia gives us reason to conclude that the orientation of the grave pits was done by observing the sunrise. The shifting of the grave pits from the accepted geographical directions was conditioned according to the daily journey of the sun on the horizon. Astro-archaeological calculations give us the opportunity to determine, with a precision of three days, the month and the day when the pit was dug.
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