(ORDO NEWS) — An ancient relic that was once thought to be the remains of an inner harbor on a Sicilian island may have been a way to navigate the stars.
Archaeologists have been exploring artifacts on the island city of Motya off the western coast of Sicily for almost 60 years. Initially, they thought that the “coton”, a large rectangular pool measuring 52×37 meters, was an artificial harbor.
But a recent study has led scientists to believe it was an ancient freshwater pool that was once surrounded by three large temples and a large statue of Baal, the god of fertility.
Archaeologists estimate that the basin is 2,500 years old. The researchers also found a surface to observe and map the movement of stars. This is confirmed by the alignment of structures and objects located around the sacred enclosure.
In what scientists call the “sanctuary,” there is a section that marks the position of Capella (Alpha Aurigae), the sixth-brightest star in the night sky, as it rises north at the autumn equinox, expedition leader Lorenzo Nigro wrote.
Another section in the south of the hull marks Sirius (Alpha Canis Major), the brightest star in the night sky, as it rises south on the autumn equinox.
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