6,000-Year-Old Tombs May Be World's First Astronomical Telescope

As you know, there is no shortage of things with more than one use! But have you ever heard of tombs that could serve as astronomical telescopes? By the way, the most intriguing thing about the graves we'll talk about next is that they - possibly - were used for calendars 6, 000 years ago!

According to Nicola Davis of The Guardian portal, the tombs are in Portugal and consist of what archaeologists call "corridor graves." However, UK researchers believe that in addition to serving as the home for the dead, they may have been the world's first astronomical telescope.


Corridor graves, as their name suggests, consist of stone Neolithic structures that have long corridors that give access to the tombs. For in the case of the tombs of Portugal, they have a narrow opening that creates a tunnel vision effect that would facilitate the observation of the stars.

Entrance of one of Portugal's tombs

According to British scientists, the “tumoloscope” would allow people to focus their attention on specific portions of the sky, while blocking regions that did not matter at the time of observation. In addition, the researchers explained that the dark environment inside the tombs would help the eyes adjust to the darkness, allowing less bright stars to be more easily identified.

The researchers also believe that the positioning of the corridors and the orientation of the tombs were not chosen randomly but to serve the purpose of assisting in star observation. Moreover, it is possible that as many similar structures that exist throughout Portugal have been built with the same goal in mind.

Prehistoric Astronomers

According to scientists, the tombs appear to be aligned with Aldebaran, the brightest star in the Taurus constellation. As they believe, the people who built these structures probably used the graves to accompany the seasons and in rituals in which community members who were allowed to enter the tombs received specific knowledge or even rites of passage involving the most ancient. young.

Grave viewed from another angle

Now the researchers intend to conduct a series of tests to prove the hypothesis that the tombs served as telescopes for the ancient ones. They also hope to find out if other similar structures exist along the northwest coast of Europe - there are over a thousand! - they were also used for stargazing or for purposes other than graves.