September 16, 2011
Peru’s Nazca Lines, the mysterious geoglyphs etched into the desert centuries ago by indigenous groups, are world famous – and now thousands of similar patterns have been found in the Middle East.
Satellite and aerial photography has revealed mysterious stone ‘wheels’ that are more numerous and older than the Nazca Lines in countries such as Syria, Saudi Arabia and Jordan.
The structures are thought to date back 2,000 years, but why they were built is baffling archaeologists and historians.
‘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,’ David Kennedy, a professor of classics and ancient history at the University of Western Australia, told Live Science.
He added: ‘People have probably walked over them, walked past them, for centuries, millennia, without having any clear idea what the shape was.’
The local Bedouin, a nomadic people found in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Libya, Egypt and Israel, call them the ‘works of the old men’.