Researchers have discovered in the Middle East thousands of lines similar to the Nazca lines in Peru. The structures discovered in the desert are visible only from the air, and were never seen before. The discovery was made with the help of satellite-mapping technologies and an aerial photography program in Jordan.
The lines are stone structures which archaeologists refer to as the wheels. They stretch from Syria to Saudi Arabia and have a wide variety of designs, the most common being that of a circle with spokes inside.
Often found on Lava fields, they range from 82 to 230 feet and believed by researchers to be around 2000 years old.
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, according to a Fox News report.
Professor Kennedy's new research will be published in the next issue of the Journal of Archaeological Science. It reveals that these wheel type structures form a part of a variety of stone landscapes which include kites (stone structures used for funneling and killing animals); pendants (lines of stone cairns that run from burials); and walls, mysterious structures that meander across the landscape for up to several hundred feet and have no apparent practical use, the report said.
The wheels are arranged in such a way that some of the wheels are found in isolation while others lie clustered together in a group. At one location, near the Azraq Oasis, hundreds of them can be found clustered into a dozen groups.
Physics professor at Politecnico di Torino in Italy, Amelia Sparavigna, wrote an email to Live Science saying that she too agreed that these structures can be referred to as geoglyphs in the same way as the Nazca Lines are.
If we define a 'geoglyph' as a wide sign on the ground of artificial origin, the stone circles are geoglyphs, Sparavignawrote in her email.
Nazca Lines are ancient geolyphs, or drawings that span deserts in southern Peru.
She further said that considered generally, the lines could have been a worship place for ancestors or a place of ritualistic importance; they could be of the same use as of geoglyphs in South America. They could have the same purpose with a different design she said, according to the report.
If we consider, more generally, the stone circles as worship places of ancestors, or places for rituals connected with astronomical events or with seasons, they could have the same function of [the] geoglyphs of South America, the Nazca Lines for instance. The design is different, but the function could be the same, she wrote in her email.
More research is yet to be conducted on finding out what the structure means for the ancient middle east culture and society and what role it played.