Sun-Worshippers Built This Massive Altar 3,000 Years Ago
In a remote corner of northwest China, a recently excavated 3,000-year-old sun altar offers clues to how the region's tribal cultures practiced religion thousands of years ago.
The ruins were discovered in 1993, in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, but were not excavated until last year. Archaeologists can now confirm their initial suspicions that the site was used as a sun altar during the Bronze Age.
Nomads once dominated this grassland region, which sits in between Kazakhstan and Mongolia. While similar sun altars had been previously found in the east, the complex in Xinjiang is unique to the region.
The altar itself is comprised of three layered circles of stone. The outer diameter of the largest circle is just over 328 feet