On a hilltop hidden in the Brazilian Amazon rain forest sits the remnants of an ancient stone circle, which has been dubbed the Amazon’s very own Stonehenge.
Former cattle foreman Lailson Camelo da Silva, was burning down trees in order to create pasture in the 1990’s when he discovered a circle of large granite stones.
The site is located in Solstice Archaeological Park in Amapá state, Brazil, and is sometimes referred to as the “Tropical Stonehenge” because of its astronomical alignments and its similar circular stone form. Scholars have found that Rego Grande aligns to the winter solstice.
On the Wikipedia page for the site it describes the alignments:
On the winter solstice of December 21, the shortest day of the year in the northern hemisphere, the shadow of one of the blocks disappears when the sun is directly above it.
The rock seems to be placed at angle so that the shadow is possibly small throughout the day. It is this block’s alignment with the December solstice that leads archaeologists to believe the site was once a type of astronomical observatory.
They believe the site was made by a sophisticated indigenous culture. One of the stones has a circular hole carved into it.
During the winter solstice, the sun shines directly though this hole onto another rock for an extended amount of time, supporting the idea that Amazon Stonehenge was used as an astronomical site.
An article in The New York Times also suggests that this discovery provides new insights into Pre-European communities, suggesting they were far more advanced than previously thought, given their ability to construct these stone monuments with the knowledge to align them to the movement of the sun.