A new discovery in Saudi Arabia goes firmly against that notion, with archaeologists revealing the existence of hundreds of stone "gates" situated in and around ancient lava domes, in an area that is little more than a hellish landscape devoid of vegetation and water.
Some of these unusual features are more than four times the length of a football pitch, and are built on ancient lava domes and were found in the Harrat Khaybar region in Saudia Arabia.
These structures may be up to 7,000 years old, according to experts, but they have not been able to find out the objective of these "gates".
The unusual cluster appear to be the oldest man-made structures in the landscape and some are up to 1,700 feet long and built across old lava domes. What's most interesting is that it appears that the lava fields these structures were built upon was still active at the time, with hardened lava appearing to have flowed over some of the gates.
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The structures, which measure anywhere from 40 feet to almost 1,700 feet in length, are crude in their construction, built of rough rocks that have withstood thousands of years of wear and tear. The gates were discovered through satellite surveys and they look similar to structures that are found in the Middle East.
Through the development of Google Earth, he has been able to expand the database and use it to find the previously undiscovered stone structures.
Experts say that thousands of years ago this area would have been much more hospitable than it is now.
The structures are found in seemingly inhospitable lava fields that are also home to other human-made stone structures, which resemble kites and wheels.
"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-i.e. the Gate is older".
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