6,000-year-old ancient tombs, focused light to give a clearer view of the stars, like a telescope.
Is this structure the fist telescope?
According to astronomers these monolithic sites in Portugal, focused light, to help prehistoric people to better observe the stars.
Stars would help them to create better calendars.
Above, Dolmen da Orca, a typical structure in Western Iberia, part of the megalithic cluster in Portugal.
Astronomers suggest that the long, narrow entrance passages to ancient stone, or ‘megalithic’. Tombs may have enhanced what early human cultures could see in the night sky, an effect that could have been interpreted as the ancestors granting special power to the initiated. The team present their study at the National Astronomy Meeting, being held this week in Nottingham.
Fabio Silva of the University of Wales told Gizmodo:
“In a sense, the long passage of the passage grave would act as a long tube that would not only focus the attention on a narrow band of the horizon. By spending the night inside the passage grave, the eyes will be dark-adapted and, therefore, might be able to see the faint star rising, whereas someone outside the megalithic structure, already with light-adapted eyes due to the pre-dawn scattering, wouldn’t.”
(b) The “window of visibility” in the dolmens’ chamber. (c) Orca de Santo Tisco.
Kieran Simcox, a student at Nottingham Trent University, and leading the project, comments: “It is quite a surprise that no one has thoroughly investigated how for example the colour of the night sky impacts on what can be seen with the naked eye.”