Trypilian plate - the astronomical calendar.

One small plate of Trypillia culture, which is at least six millennia old, will show us the astronomical knowledge of Trypillia people and their ritual cycle. Some see the Sun and the Moon on painted pottery.

Yes, the Sun is here, but the Moon is not. The sun is depicted on the ceramics in a black circle. In the upper left corner, it descends at the northernmost point to Kupayla on June 22. This day celebrates the summer solstice, when the night is the shortest and the day the longest. On the same day, the sun sets in the northernmost point and on the plate this astronomical event is marked by a black circle in the upper right corner. The light stripe between the dark circles symbolizes the longest day of the year, and the shaded stripe symbolizes the shortest night.

Below the southernmost points of sunrise and sunset on Christmas Eve on December 22, ie the winter solstice. This time is the longest night and the shortest day of the year. The scheme of changing the position of the solar disk during the year is shown in the diagram. In winter the sun passes low in the sky, in summer high. This is due to the fact that the Earth's axis is inclined to the plane in which it moves around the Sun, by 23.5 degrees. During the days of the spring and autumn equinoxes, the points of east and west are on this plane.

Between the solstices, exactly in the middle of the annual path of the points of sunrise and sunset across the sky, we have the equinox. On the equinox, the sun rises exactly in the east and hides behind the sky exactly in the geographical west. At the equinox, the length of the day is equal to the length of the night. That is why the equinox symbol on the plate is divided in half: the shaded half is night, and the light with a solar disk is day. Why two of them? Because there are two equinoxes a year: spring and autumn on March 22 and September 22, respectively. Dates may vary from year to year, but not more than one day.


In the center of the plate are five circles, which can be interpreted as a person, family, nation and humanity. The people of Trypillia also planned their settlements in the form of a circle. A person is part of a family, a family is part of a community, and so on. Above all this, the sun moves in a circle from Kolyada to Kupala. Among the most common Trypillia symbols, researchers identify the symbols of the Sun and its cycle. The movement of the Sun in a circle and the associated agrarian cycle are celebrated in Ukrainian spring songs. The plate told us that the people of Trypillia studied the movement of the Sun, and therefore engaged in astronomy and celebrated such familiar solar holidays, Kupayla, Easter, and Kolyada. Probably under other names, but with the same astronomical meaning.