Namoratunga II

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Namoratunga in Turkana, Kenya

Namoratunga is a possible archaeoastronomical site on the west side of Lake Turkana in Kenya, believed to have been created around 300 BC. It is easily visible on the Lodwar – Kalokol roadside, 20 meters from the road. Namoratunga II (3°25′22″N 35°48′10″E / 3.42278°N 35.80278°E / 3.42278; 35.80278) contains 19 basalt pillars, aligned with 7 star systems: Triangulum, Pleiades, Bellatrix, Aldebaran, Central Orion, Saiph, and Sirius. Namoratunga means "people of stone" in the Turkana language.

Archaeologists Mark Lynch and L.H. Robbins described the site in 1978. Lynch believes the basalt pillars tie the constellations or stars to the 12-month 354-day lunar calendar of Cushitic speakers of southern Ethiopia. The pillars align with the movements of the 7 constellations corresponding to a 354-day calendar. The pillars are surrounded by a circular formation of stones. One grave with a pillar on top exists in the area. Namoratunga I (2°23′0.04″N 36°8′2.52″E / 2.3833444°N 36.1340333°E / 2.3833444; 36.1340333)[1] contains a similar grave but no pillars.[2][3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Kubiak, M. (1982), "Eclipse at Namoratunga", The Observatory, vol. 102, p. 211.
  2. ^ Helaine, Seline (1997), Encyclopaedia of the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine in Non-Western Cultures (Springer), p. 755. ISBN 978-0-7923-4066-9
  3. ^ Krupp, Edwin C. (2003), Echoes of the Ancient Skies: The Astronomy of Lost Civilizations (Dover), pp. 170–172. ISBN 978-0-486-42882-6

Further reading[edit]

  • Doyle, L.R., and T.J. Wilcox, 1986, "Statistical Analysis of Namoratunga: An Archaeoastronomical Site In Sub-Saharan Africa?," Azania: J. British Inst. of East Africa XXI, 125-129.
  • Doyle, L.R., 1986, "The Borana Calendar Reinterpreted," Current Anthropology 27, 286-287.
  • Doyle, L.R. and E.W. Frank, 1997, "Astronomy of Africa," in Encyclopedia of the History of Science, Technology and Medicine in Non-Western Cultures, H. Selin (ed.), Kluwer, Netherlands, 96-99.