Oxford archaeologists discover monumental evidence of prehistoric hunting across Arabian desert

Oxford archaeologists discover monumental evidence of prehistoric hunting across Arabian desert

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  1. Oxford archeologists find new hunting sites in Arabian desert dating back to 8000 BCE.
    The discovery also included sites in northern Saudi Arabia and southern Iraq.

    Archaeologists at Oxford University have used satellite imagery to study the area surrounding the present-day Nafud desert and found evidence of structures that helped in hunting during prehistoric times, a university press release said.

    Early aircraft pilots have reported sightings of low stone wall structures leading to a head enclosure and guiding walls that often ran for miles. Called kites, these structures are known to date back to the Neolithic period, around the year 8,000 BCE, and were used to guide prey animals like gazelles into areas where they could be captured or killed.

    Though they are large structures, kites are not easily visible from the ground. Archaeologists, therefore, rely on open-source information such as those available in commercial satellites or platforms such as Google Earth to find them. The structures have been documented in eastern Jordan and southern Syria before, but newly found evidence shows that they’re prevalent nearly 250 miles (400 km) further east in northern Saudi Arabia and southern Iraq too.

    A large number of questions still remain unanswered, such as who built these structures, who invested in building them, how many people these structures would feed, and whether the construction sites demonstrate the movement of people or ideas over a period of time.

    The answers to other questions can be found in the journal The Holocene: [https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/09596836221114290](https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/09596836221114290)

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