Ancient cultures keep on surprising researchers with advanced technology that they managed to develop at their times. Kokino, a proof of progressive civilisations dating back to II century BC, is located in north-east Macedonia where ancients observed the movement of Earth and its link with changing sky allowing them to define seasons, crops time and manage their calendar.
Kokino takes its honourable place on NASA’s list with such observatories as Stonehenge, Abu Simbel and Angkor Wat. This megalithic observatory played huge role within the community, showing how well-developed they were. Not only a scientific area but also a sacred site, scientists found traces of religious rituals such as bones of animal sacrifice.
The location allowed to track the movement of the Sun and the Moon on the eastern horizon, it can be considered as an observatory thanks to the fact that all seven markings are visible from the same place. Seven cuts in the rocks pointing the location of sunrise during solstices (3) and Moon (4), besides those there are two more to point markings for lunar calendar.
For those not interested in archaeological sites Kokino is still worth-visiting. It’s a good view point for remarkable surrounding; a rock fortress formed by nature at the peak of Tatiḱew Kamen (1013 m a.s.l.) of dimensions 90×50 metres. The observatory mounts over the landscape that seems almost deserted by people. Sharp teeth of rocks create characteristic formations; the location is divided into a few platforms of different purpose.
One of the most significant spots are thrones from which the movement of celestial bodies was observed, old civilization managed to mark positions of the Sun at the winter and summer solstice, as well as the equinox. Yet that was not the only purpose of thrones, the place was used for a ritual of unity between the Sun and tribe’s leader, the sunray was pointing leader’s throne and renewing his reign.
Kokino merged a few functions giving local community one place for science, religion and power to combine, if that’s not enough for you come at least for the view.
by Aleksandra Grzyb