Hundreds of mysterious gate structures discovered in desserts of Saudi Arabia

An archaeologist has discovered the ancient stone structures in the western Harrat Khaybar region of Saudi Arabia using Google Earth

Saudi Arabia
Google Earth

MysAn archaeologist has recently discovered hundreds of mysterious stone structures on ancient lava domes in Saudi Arabia by using Google Earth.

David Kennedy, professor of archaeology at the University of Oxford, found as many as 400 stone walls, which could very well be more than 9,000 years old in the western Harrat Khaybar region of the country.

These walls are quite similar in terms of structure to others that were found around the Middle East. These structures have been dubbed "gates" due to their resemblance to barred gates. The purpose of these gates, known to the Bedouin as "Works of the Old Men," are still unknown.

However, the gate structures found by Professor Kennedy have some features, which have not been seen in the previous ones. For example, they show a great discrepancy in size – While the longest gate measures more than half a kilometer, the shortest one is just about 13 metres. The space between the gates also differ from each other from being miles apart to "almost touching," stated the report.

"We tend to think of Saudi Arabia as desert, but in practice there's a huge archaeological treasure trove out there and it needs to be identified and mapped," said Kennedy, who has also penned a paper regarding his findings that is set to be published in the November issue of the journal Arabian Archaeology and Epigraphy.

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"It is impossible at the moment to date these gates except relatively. I have argued in the article that they are the earliest of the so-called 'Works of the Old Men', the stone-built structures found widely in Arabia from northern Syria to Yemen, but especially common in the lava fields," Mr. Kennedy told Newsweek.

"The works known as Kites, which are certainly animal traps, may be as old as 9,000 years before present in some cases and there is one example of a kite overlying a gate. So Gates may be up to or more than 9,000 years old, which takes one back to the Neolithic," he added.

This article was first published on October 20, 2017