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Kokino (Кокино) is the fourth oldest astronomical observatory in the world.
It is a complex prehistoric archaeological site (2000 BC), on the territory of Municipality Staro Nagorichane near Kumanovo, Macedonia. It encompasses most of neo-volcanic hill Tatikjev Kamen, at the bottom of which the village is Kokino is located.
Archaeological excavations, started in 2001, found numerous archaeological artifacts that belong to the so-called Bronze Age. The findings the early (XIX - XVII century BC) and middle Bronze Age (XVII - XIV century BC) are relatively small in numbers, and are dominated by the findings of the Late Bronze Age (XIV - XI century BC). The latest archaeological excavations revealed traces of settlement of the so-called Iron Age (seventh century BC) on the southern slope of the site, thus confirming its use in a time span of over 1200 years.
Some topographic characteristics of the site, such the great visibility from the highest part of the hill, and the wealth of archaeological finds found in structures with ritual nature, confirm its use as a "holy mountain."
One of the rituals, probably tied to fertility and the Great Goddess-Mother, performed in a way that in the natural cracks in the rocks, were deposited vessels, probably filled with fruits, which were then covered with earth and stone.
Another ritual behaved toward sacred merging of the object deity Sun with Great Goddess-Mother, personified as a the rocky mountain peak and was performed in the middle of summer (July 30 or 31). On that day, the rays of the morning sun, which emerged behind the ritual marker on the highest part of the site going down trough artificially cut rock, twenty feet below the marker and enlighten only one of the participants in the ceremony, which sat on one of several stone seats on lower western platform location. Both rituals were designed to ensure greater fertility and cyclical renewal of nature.
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