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Welcome to Qarahunge (Zorats Karer)

"Stars & Stones 2010: Oxford University Expedition to Qarahunge, Armenia" is officially approved and supported by the Oxford University Expedition Council and Royal Geographical Society (with IBS). The expedition aims to shed a new light on the mystery of this unique monument.

The monument is very well preserved being essentially untouched for thousands of years. Thus it opens a new range of possible research opportunities to scientists from different disciplines. The expedition will mainly focus on astor-archaeological and geographical aspects, producing archeological survey as well as detailed panoramic images of the monument.

This research project will position Qarahunge (also known as Zorats Karer) into the bigger narrative relating to other stone henges throughout Europe. This narrative story will also form an important input into establishing the universal significance of the site as well as its relative condition compared to other better known sites such as Stonehenge. The expedition team hopes this work will inform discussions with the Armenian Government to support a potential World Heritage nomination for the site.

We strongly believe that our expedition and the documentary movie will boost local and international appreciation of this unique prehistoric monument. Firstly it will attract more tourists to Armenia and secondly it will increase international awareness of the Armenian heritage improving our chances of successful World Heritage application.

Background: Zorats Karer (also known as Qarahunge or the Armenian Stonehenge) is a prehistoric monument consisting of hundreds large stones. Many of the stones have holes running through their upper part. The monument is located near Armenian towns Sisian and Goris. The Oxford University expedition is going to shed new light at the mystery of Qarahunge monument. The monument has the same orientation as Stonehenge in the UK; it is clearly pointing to the sun on the summer solstice day. Qarahunge is unique as it is very well preserved, the stones have never been moved, preserving all the archaeological information. These facts make it more interesting to study the monument from the archeo-astronomical point of view. Moreover, our research may reveal new facts hopefully allowing us to introduce an independent age estimate. The expedition will also try to explain the connection between Qarahuge, Stonehenge and other henges around Europe.

Research areas

The following research areas will be addressed in the final report.

Spellings and Names

Geo Coordinates

+39° 33' 6.12", +46° 1' 44.33"


Mihran Vardanyan
Christ Church
Oxford OX1 1DP
United Kingdom
Tel.: +44 (0) 1865 58 9991

Approved and Supported by

University of Oxford The Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers)


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