Adam’s Calendar, believed to be the oldest man-made structure in the world, was discovered in Mpumalanga, South Africa by accident. In 2003, South African pilot Johan Heine flew to the area after one of his pilots crashed his plane there. While looking for his pilot at the crash site, he noticed an arrangement of large stones sticking out of the ground.
Heine had been flying over the mountains of Mpumalanga, South Africa for over 20 years and had never seen the strange circular stone objects until that time. He took photographs of them and spoke with experts on their origins. He was told that they were the remains of “cattle kraal” — livestock enclosure — left behind by the Bantu people when they migrated from the north around the 14th century, Ancient Origins reported.
But others have disputed this claim, saying that the monolithic, five-ton dolomite stones sticking out of the ground do not look like Bantu cattle-kraal designs, which are usually made of thorny shrubs.
When Johan discovered the stones in 2003, he realized that they have been placed to track the movement of the sun, casting shadows on the rock. It is therefore not surprising that the site is dubbed Adam’s Calendar. Experts say it still works as a calendar by following the shadow of the setting sun.
But the site is also sometimes referred to as “African Stonehenge”, as sources say it predates both Stonehenge and the Great Pyramid of Giza by tens of thousands of years. Some accounts also state that the strange standing stone circle about 30 meters in diameter, which African elders also call “The Birthplace of The Sun” or “Inzalo y’Langa”, is more than 75,000 years old.
Over the years, researchers have found scattered throughout the mountains of South Africa thousands of stone circle ruins, with some having no doors or entrances. Adam’s Calendar is said to be the most famous among these ruins. The area surrounding Adam’s Calendar is rich in gold; Sheba Gold Mine, one of the richest working mines in the world, is found in Mpumalanga.
Adam’s Calendar, which was known to only a few people, caused a big buzz when South African author and explorer Michael Tellinger described it as the oldest manmade structure in the world. He said it was made by a vanished civilization.
To date, the exact origin of the stone circle is not really known, including who built it and its purpose. It is “possibly the only example of a completely functional, mostly intact megalithic stone calendar in the world,” according to Ancient Origins.
Adam’s Calendar is protected as part of the Blue Swallow National Heritage Site, and one will need a guide in order to explore the stones.