The Arabian Desert Is Covered In Mysterious Patterns, And We May Finally Understand Why

The Arabian Desert Is Covered In Mysterious Patterns, And We May Finally Understand Why

The Saudi Arabian deserts were the lush, fruitful homes of ancient people more than 8,000 years ago, but have you heard about the famous Arabian Desert Patterns?

These long-gone towns’ remains are still visible today; to be more precise, time has frozen or desiccated them.

Thousands of massive stone structures have been discovered by archaeologists all throughout the Arabian Peninsula, in places like Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Armenia, Kazakhstan, and Iraq.

Examples of desert kites can be found in Saudi Arabia’s desert.

The V-shaped configurations were first noticed by British air force pilots in the 1920s, and their function has been a topic of debate for more than a century.

A commonly held opinion has been proven by recent satellite images and drone surveys in Saudi Arabia’s “Uwayri” desert.

Arabian Desert Kites

Saudi Arabia is home to some illustrations of more intricate desert kites.

Archaeologists are actively researching these prehistoric stone carvings, also referred to as “desert kites,” and they think that they were most likely mass hunting traps.

Dozens of previously unknown desert kites, all of which appear to have been built with a similar function, have recently been found in Uwayri.

The V-shaped patterns represent a variety of features, including a pit, an abrupt cliff, and an enclosure.

All three patterns suggest that in the past, herds of wild animals were forced aboard desert kites and flown to either their doom or confinement.

“The purpose of the kite form is generally agreed upon: animals were propelled (an “active” kite system) or steered (a “passive” kite system) into a restricted region by the structure’s walls,” claim the authors of a recent study.

It is now widely accepted that the most common use of these structures is to hunt animals, most frequently gazelles and other herbivorous ungulates, but also maybe ibex, wild equids, and ostriches.

The recent discovery of traps suggests that herding animals into them was a common and effective survival strategy, even though further investigation is needed to determine precisely what animals were caught in them. The fact that the traps have been found in different parts of the Arabian peninsula supports this theory.

Further south, for example, archaeologists found thousands of stone structures as well as hundreds of stone kites.

Desert kites farther south are usually more detailed and focused than those in the “Uwayri” desert. The example below demonstrates how they occasionally mix multiple V-shapes.

Arabian Desert Patterns Use

Drone photos of recently found, relatively simple-structured desert kites. Repper et albook .’s Arabian Archaeology and Epigraphy has a reproduction of the Royal Commission for AlUla and AAKSAU project.

Archaeologists have previously suggested that these structures were used as hunting traps due to their propensity to appear in sandy locations that would have formerly supported seasonal grasses. Migration-related goats, gazelles, and other herding animals were probably sustained by the vegetation.

This period’s prehistoric rock art paintings also feature the use of kite-like devices to funnel animals. According to the design of some kites, one of the earliest attempts at domestication ever discovered anywhere on the planet may have even been used to raise wild animals.

It’s not uncommon to see a diversity of kites in one location, according to a different recent study on desert kites that was published in April 2022. These kites come with end entrances to pits on some and end openings to enclosures on others.

“Kites and open kites may have been in use at the same time, establishing related but independent hunting methods,” the researchers hypothesize.

It’s possible that one approach evolved before another through time, with simple “proto-kites” coming before more complex and standardized desert kite variations.

Neolithic Lines Arabia

The gate-like mustatils construction discovered in the desert of Saudi Arabia.

More research is needed in order to distinguish between these two options. The depiction of Neolithic culture may one day help us understand how early humans first began to hunt and domesticate animals.

Getting up close and personal with them may have been the first step in our species’ ability to breed and raise wild herds as our own.

However, not every component of these desert kites is inherently advantageous.

Some kites have been found buried in “mustatils,” larger, kilometer-long stone structures. When viewed from above, a block pattern of mustatils, the Arabic word for rectangle, resembles a gate.

Recently, hundreds of mustatils were found in the Arabian desert, but archaeologists are still unsure of what they were used for.

Their relationship to desert kites raises the likelihood that they were possibly used for water storage or animal corralling in addition to their potential use as religious or ceremonial buildings for animal sacrifices or feasts.

Whatever their intended use, these stone structures must have been highly valued. They surround the region, and early dating investigations suggest they have existed on the Arabian Peninsula for a very long time.

The users of mega-traps in the kite distribution area are unknown, according to the authors of a study that was published in April.

A historic route in the desert of Arabia marked with graves and monuments.

More dating and excavation of related sites are required in order to conclusively link them to a cultural facies.

Despite being well known for many years, the scientific community has surprisingly devoted little attention to Saudi Arabia’s desert kites.

After years of archaeologists pushing for further research into the ruins of these ancient societies, things are now starting to move.

Beginning in 2022, archaeologists working in Saudi Arabia who were conducting study found a 530-kilometer-wide network of deserted highways.

These ancient paths seemed to link one oasis to another, flanked by thousands of winding stone burial chambers.

Many of these oasis also have kites for the desert.

Archaeologists, who believe that ancient nomadic peoples who were looking for the best lands and climates traveled the highways, discovered them.

Thousands of years later, archaeologists are attempting to retrace their movements.

The study that gave the unnamed desert kites their name was published in the Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports.

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