Passage of the Sun

Archaeoastronomical "instruments" for "measuring" or demonstrating the passage of the Sun throughout the year. The Connection is limited to those structures specifically "constructed" for observing the Sun as opposed to those for observing wider astronomical bodies/phenomena.

World Heritage Sites connected to Passage of the Sun

  • Brú na Bóinne Newgrange has a remarkable Winter Solstice event
  • Chichen-Itza "El Castillo appears to be oriented so that the west plane of the pyramid faces the "Zenith passage". Thus at the spring and fall equinoxes (and for a week before and after) as the sun sets, a play of light and shadow creates the appearance of a snake that gradually undulates down the stairway of the pyramid. This diamond-backed snake is composed of seven or so triangular shadows, cast by the stepped terraces of the pyramid"
  • Cuzco Temple of the Sun
  • Machu Picchu Intihuatana Stone: "Intihuatana also is called "The Hitching Point of the Sun" because it was believed to hold the sun in its place along its annual path in the sky. At midday on March 21 and September 21, the equinoxes the sun stands almost above the pillar?casting no shadow at all"
  • Neolithic Orkney winter solstice at Maeshowe
  • Nubian Monuments Abu Simbel - "The axis of the temple was positioned by the ancient Egyptian architects in such a way that twice a year, on Oct 20 and Feb 20, the rays of the sun would penetrate the sanctuary and illuminate the sculpture on the back wall, except for the statue of Ptah, the god connected with the Underworld, who always remained in the dark. These dates are allegedly the king's birthday and coronation day respectively, but there is no evidence to support this"
  • Oaxaca and Monte Alban What appears to be a "Zenith Tube" is built into the base of Building P at Monte Alban. "The sun is visible through this perpendicular shaft for several weeks around the time of the zenith passage"
  • Rome Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Marteri Link
  • Sammallahdenmäki The site is associated with sun worship rituals.
  • Stonehenge "the summer solstice sun rose close to the Heel Stone, and the sun's first rays shone into the centre of the monument between the horseshoe arrangement"
  • Sun Temple, Konarak
  • Swiss Tectonic Arena Sardona Link
  • Teotihuacan Temple of the Sun
  • The Architectural Work of Le Corbusier Tower of Shadows
  • Tiwanaku
  • Xochicalco The "Observatory" Cave is thought to be a "Zenith Tube":- In the 105 days running from April 30 to August 15, the sun shines into the cave. In the sun's movement towards the Tropic of Cancer and upon their return, respectively, on May 14/15 and 28/29 July, the sun is at its zenith and the astronomical noon, the beam of light falls directly through the chimney showing the image of the sun on the floor of the cave


Do you know of another WHS we could connect to Passage of the Sun

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A connection should:

  1. Not be "self evident"
  2. Link at least 3 different sites
  3. not duplicate or merely subdivide the "Category" assignment already identified on this site.
  4. add some knowledge or insight (whether significant or trivial!) about WHS for the users of this site
  5. be explained, with reference to a source