"Kokino Megalithic Observatory" Kumanovo Things to Do Tip by Pijlmans
Kumanovo Things to Do: 15 reviews and 47 photos
The Kokino archeological site and megalithic observatory is located about 30 kilometers northeast of Kumanovo, near the villages Staro Nagoricane and Kokino.
Artefacts found on the site have been dated to 1800 BC, so the site is more than 3800 years old.
Kokino is on the U.S. Space Organization NASA's list of ancient observatories, together with e.g. Stonehenge in Great Britain. Not surprisingly, Kokino is also referred to as the Stonehenge of Macedonia.
According to specialists, the site was used to follow the movements of sun and moon. An obvious structure on the site is called "The Throne", and resembles a big couch. This throne is faced to a rock formation in the east, over which the sun will rise. Certain (man-made?) stone markers in the rock formation mark the positions of the sun at the summer and winter solstice and spring and fall equinox.
Besides its function as an observatory, the site was likely used for ritual purposes as well. Figurine objects of humans and animals have been found here. Also ceramic vessels were found, some of them are on display in the museum of Kumanovo.
When we arrived at the site, a man was sitting at the picnic table below the rock formation, and he was selling a small flyer with some information about the site (30 MKD, about 50 eurocents). Since he may not be there all the time, it may be useful for you to get some information about Kokino before you go there. Especially information about how the rock formation was used as an observatory, because you will probably not be able to determine the position of the solar markers by yourself. You can find a copy of the flyer in the link to my travelogue below, or contact me and I will send it to you by email.
Whether or you understand and believe the role of this observatory or not, it is a cool rock formation to walk around, to enjoy the view and to imagine the ancient civilization that once used this place.
To get there, take the exit to the Monastery of Prohor Pcinjski and Staro Nagoricane to the left along the road from Kumanovo to Kriva Palanka. Kokino is signposted from there, there is a parking with information panel below the rock formation.
Another interesting Megalithic Observatory in Macedonia is Cocev Kamen near Kratovo.
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