Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Mystery 'Wheels' Seen Only from High Above

Some of the wheels in Jordan's desert.

Thousands of mysterious ancient “geoglyphs” ~ similar in construction to Peru’s famous Nazca lines ~ have been found in the Middle East with the help of satellite-mapping technologies and aerial photography. According to
Referred to by archaeologists as "wheels," these stone structures have a wide variety of designs, with a common one being a circle with spokes radiating inside. Researchers believe that they date back to antiquity, at least 2,000 years ago. They are often found on lava fields and range from 82 feet to 230 feet (25 meters to 70 meters) across. 
"In Jordan alone we've got stone-built structures that are far more numerous than (the) Nazca Lines, far more extensive in the area that they cover, and far older," said David Kennedy, a professor of classics and ancient history at the University of Western Australia.  
Some of the wheels are found in isolation while others are clustered together. At one location, near the Azraq Oasis, hundreds of them can be found clustered into a dozen groups. "Some of these collections around Azraq are really quite remarkable," Kennedy said.
His research reveals that these wheels are part of a variety of stone landscapes, including stone structures used for killing animals, lines of stone cairns that run from burials, and a number of strange structures that meander across the landscape for up to several hundred feet and have no apparent practical use. 

Click here for the complete article and a photo gallery.

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