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Wednesday, June 7, 2023

8,000-year-old rock carvings in Arabia could also be world’s oldest megastructure blueprints

Stars and features engraved in rocks on the Arabian Peninsula could signify close by looking traps, making these carvings the primary scale-plan diagrams in human historical past, in response to a brand new examine that reveals people’ subtle understanding of house round 8,000 years in the past.

Archaeologists first observed these buildings, referred to as desert kites, about 100 years in the past, when aerial pictures started taking off with airplanes. Kites are massive areas of land bordered by low stone partitions, generally with pits scattered on the within close to the perimeters. Discovered primarily within the Center East and Central Asia, kites are thought to have functioned like pens or traps for animals. Hunters would herd animals, like gazelle, into the kite via a protracted, slim passage, the place the sport can be unable to flee the partitions or the pits, making them simpler to kill. 

Due to their huge dimension — averaging near the sq. footage of two soccer fields — kites can’t be seen of their entirety from the bottom. However the introduction of publicly accessible, high-resolution satellite tv for pc photographs, equivalent to these from Google Earth, has jump-started the examine of desert kites up to now decade.

An aerial view of a desert kite from Jebel az-Zilliyat, Saudi Arabia. (Picture credit score: O. Barge/CNRS)

The current discovery of architectural-like designs engraved in rocks in Jordan and Saudi Arabia has revealed how Neolithic people could have deliberate these “mega-traps,” in response to a brand new examine, revealed Wednesday (Might 17) within the journal PLOS One (opens in new tab).

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