Half day tour to Kokino, an archaeological site from bronze period (18 th century B.C.) and IVth prehistoric observatory in the world according to NASA
More info: http://haemus.org.mk/kokino/
- Enjoy in the landscape filled with the craters from the small ancient dried volcanoes
- Stand in front of the thrones in Kokino made in 1800 BC for celestial and ritual purpose
- Learn about local history admiring the original frescos in St. George church from 1313
- Visit the place of Prohor Pchinjski one of the 4th originally rooted Orthodox saints from the territory of the Republic of Macedonia
Approximately 35 km northeast of Kumanovo, on the left side of the asphalt road that leads from the village of Dragomance to the village of Arbanaško, rises the impressive neo-volcanic hill which, with its height of 1,013 m dominates over its surroundings and the village of Kokino that lies at its foot. At the very hilltop, known among the local population as Tatićev Kamen, two platforms stretching in the direction west/east and with the difference in altitude of ca. 20 m are made in the andesite rocks, covering an area ca. 90 m long and ca. 50 m wide. The most striking feature on the lower, west platform, is a block of several stone seats hewn into the rock and positioned in such a manner that the person sitting in them faces the east horizon. The upper platform is a flattened area also hewn into the rock, covered with a relatively thin layer of humus which, during the first excavations in 2001, yielded very rich and varied archaeological material.
The archaeological excavations that continued in the years that followed dated the site to the Bronze Age in the development of the human civilization (approximately the entire 2nd millennium BC), while most of the finds come from the Late Bronze Age (14th to 11th centuries BC). Among the wide repertory of shapes and forms of the ceramic vessels that have been unearthed, those that are utilitarian in character, that is, vessels in which food was stored and cooked, prevail. An exclusive find from this site is the mould used for the casting of a bronze amulet, a rare form of bronze pendant.
The earliest finds date from the Early Bronze Age (19th to 17th centuries BC) and the latest, from the period known as the advanced Iron Age, ca. 7th century BC. The majority of topographic features of this site point to its perception as a holy mountain on which mountain rituals were performed, linked to the belief of the prehistoric inhabitants that the rocky mountain peak is the abode of deities and the place where they could communicate with them.
One of the mountain rituals for which archaeological traces have been recorded on the highest point of this site was probably linked to the fertility cult. The second ritual was performed in midsummer (today, the last day of the month of July), when the rising Sun could be seen in the specially made marker immediately below the highest peak elevation of the site. Since in the past the marker was probably covered, a powerful effect must have been produced by a strong sun beam that passed above the upper, east platform. The sun beam casts light only on one of the thrones on the lower platform, since a special cut was made in the vertical rock that separates the two platforms, which lets through the sun beam in this direction. Thus, in this ritual, the divine Sun passed its legitimacy and authority onto the one who sat on the throne illuminated by the sun beam in this manner.
The focus of this tour is upon Kokino, an archaeological site from Bronze Age period and a prehistoric archaeon-astronomical observatory which gain the attention of scientists and media since the moment it was discovered in 2001. Whether you approach to Kokino from Kumanovo or Kriva Palanka, the moment you see the craters from the small ancient dried volcanoes, you know that you’ve reached the Northeastern part of Macedonia.
Learn about local history
Archaeologically tested and astronomically proved, this advanced community which settled Kokino around 1800 BC, used very complicated mathematical equations for observing the sky and the celestial phenomena. We are very lucky they left marks around the stones and rock in shape of markers while observing the rising of the sun during the summer and winter solstice, spring, fall equinox and many other celestial phenomena in the time when they lived.
Explore the sights
On the way back driving through the Northeast region of Macedonia, just along the road the tour stops at the “Holly Oaks”, small resting area with benches, used by locals as picnic place and considered as sacred for many centuries. The tour will proceed towards the village of Staro Nagorichane where participants will be spellbound by the picturesque and original Byzantine church dedicated to the St. George, commissioned by Serbian king Milutin and erected in 1313 above the older remains. Next-door to the church is the monk cell of Prohor Pchinjski, a monk from 11 century which lived in this area and one of the 4th originally rooted Orthodox saints from the territory of the Republic of Macedonia.
Departure: from meeting point
Departure time: 08:00 am
Duration: 5-6 hrs
Guide: Vasilka Dimitrovska, M. Sci in archaeology and professional tourist guide
Price: 65 EUR per person
You can book a tour, or you can contact us in the following ways:
By email: firstname.lastname@example.org
By phone: 00 389 77 432 861
Unqualified guides аrе illegal in the Republic of Macedonia. Make sure your tourist guide is licensed!