The Astronomers of
Nabta Playa

According to most experts the dawn of Western civilization occurred in the fourth millennium B.C. with the sudden flowering of Sumer in southern Iraq and Pharaonic Egypt soon after. This is the mainstream view that was taught when I was a college student. Increasingly, however, it is under assault.

Recent discoveries are challenging almost everything we thought we knew about human history. In 1973 a team of archaeologists made such a discovery while traveling through a remote region in southern Egypt. They were navigating by compass through a trackless waste known as the Nabta Playa and had halted for a water break, when they noticed potsherds at their feet.

Fragments of old pottery frequently are an indicator of archaeological potential, and the team returned later to investigate. After several seasons of digging they eventually realized that Nabta Playa was not just another neolithic site. The breakthrough came when they discovered that what had looked like rock outcroppings were in fact standing megalithic stones.

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The Astronomers of Nabta Playa


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