Thursday, November 5, 2015

Neolithic Geoglyphs Discovered in Kazakhstan

The imagery in this article shows a series of ancient geoglyphs, composed of earthen mounds, recently discovered in northern Kazakhstan. They were originally discovered by an amateur archaeologist using Google Earth because after watching a documentary on ancient Egypt he thought, “Well there must be pyramids in Kazakhstan too!”. The mounds are believed to be linked to the Mahandzhar culture (7000-5000 BCE) and could have served as a way to track the movement of the sun.

With little funding and support for preservation of the mounds, several have already been destroyed by construction projects. The importance of these images is that NASA, working with private contractor DigitalGlobe, is providing high spatial resolution imagery (as fine as 30cm x 30cm), which will hopefully raise awareness of the mounds. This in turn will allow for their acceptance as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which would protect them from further destruction, and allow archaeologists to properly excavate and analyze the mounds.

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