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Mysterious Ancient Geoglyphs Discovered In Kazakhstan Leave Archeologists Perplexed

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Ben Taub

author

Ben Taub

Freelance Writer

Benjamin holds a Master's degree in anthropology from University College London and has worked in the fields of neuroscience research and mental health treatment.

Freelance Writer

3388 Mysterious Ancient Geoglyphs Discovered In Kazakhstan Leave Archeologists Perplexed
These ancient man-mad earthworks in Kazakhstan were first spotted using Google Earth. DigitalGlobe via NASA

More than 50 remarkable ancient earthworks have been discovered in Kazakhstan, although archeologists are at a loss to explain who made them and for what purpose. The geoglyphs, which have been likened to the famous Nazca Lines of Peru, are scattered across a vast area of the Kazakh steppe, and were first discovered by archeology enthusiast Dmitriy Dey using Google Earth.

An international team of researchers from the Lithuanian Institute of History and Kostanay University in Kazakhstan are now attempting to decipher the age, meaning and function of the man-made features, yet have so far been left scratching their heads. Speaking to Live Science, archeologists Irina Shevnina and Andrew Logvin explained that “we can say only one thing – the geoglyphs were built by ancient people. By whom and for what purpose, remains a mystery.”

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Photo credit: DigitalGlobe via NASA

This uncertainty has led to speculation and disagreement about the nature of the earthworks. Dey and the team at Kostanay claim they could be up to 8,000 years old, based on how much the mounds has eroded and the age of Neolithic flints found at the sites, and built as part of a sun-worshipping cult. However, Dr Giedre Motuzaite Matuzeviciute of the Lithuanian Institute of History disputes this and dates them at under 2,000 years old, using a different method called luminescence dating, which looks at exposure to sunlight over time. She told National Geographic that they may have been “built as a kind of landmark, something that could be seen from river valleys far away.”

Among the structures are a number of crosses, rings, and a hooked cross that resembles an ancient swastika. This symbol has been found at ancient archeological sites across the world, ranging from engravings on Hindu temples to Nordic stone carvings, and has been associated with a number of different meanings that are not related to its modern, negative connotations.

Photo credit: DigitalGlobe via NASA


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  • tag
  • geoglyph,

  • nazca lines,

  • Kazakhstan,

  • earthworks,

  • ancient ancestors

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