The sanctuaries on the southern slope of Table Mountain, a federal monument of XII century, built in honor of the deity — the patron of agriculture and fertility «Myat-Seli», and the nearby sanctuary «Myater-Dyala» are ancient observatories, believes a member of the Russian Geographical Society Boris Rezvantsev.
«We have established that the sanctuaries are a complex of ancient solar near-horizon observatories,(built) around the beginning of the first millennium BC at the latest,» he said.
According to Rezvantsev, this work provides an opportunity to carry out various astronomical observations from the sanctuaries, and also suggests the presence of other ancient observatories in Ingushetia. «A methodology has been created to search for prehistoric solar, lunar and stellar near-horizon observatories,» he said.
According to the scientist, it is proved by determination of coordinates of sunrises and sunsets in spring and autumn equinoxes, in summer and winter solstice for latitude of the sanctuary; use of innovative computer programs and calculators that determine the azimuth and height of the Sun; instrumental observations and measurements on the ground.
«The importance of this work is that for the first time a complex of ancient solar observatories was discovered in the North Caucasus, and it will enrich our understanding of the knowledge of the ancient people who lived here, their spiritual and cultural life, contacts of the Ingush priesthood with representatives of the Cretan-Miken civilization, with state entities of Anatolia and later the Alanian Kingdom with its neighbors», — said Rezvantsev.
Researchers have found that the ancient sanctuary was used by priests to identify key moments in the annual cycle of the Sun. This work also gives prerequisites to identify various astronomical observations from the sanctuary and the presence of other ancient observatories in the Caucasus, said Rezvantsev. According to him, a methodology has been created to search for prehistoric solar, lunar and stellar near-horizon observatories.
«Based on myths about the connection of the Myat-Seli sanctuary on Mount Stolovaya in Ingushetia with Mount Kazbek and their special geographical location, the assumption of the astronomical function of this sanctuary emerged. This archaeoastronomical survey is of great academic and social importance. It shows that the sanctuaries on the Table Mountain are not just pagan temples, as previously thought, but a complex of monuments of historical and cultural heritage of the world level» — he concluded.
Note that an article about this discovery with detailed facts, published in the scientific journal «Internauka» № 19 (195) of 30.05.2021