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That originally have the mysterious structures visible from the satellite in a remote region of Kazakhstan?
After watching a program on TV about the pyramids built out of Egypt, Dmitriy Dey, a manager Kostanay in northern Kazakhstan, he wondered if his own country had ever hosted similar buildings, and started to study satellite images of Google Maps to find any traces.
Pyramids has not found, but managed to find dozens of strange artificial structures scattered in a remote area of the steppe. It is mounds and holes in the ground, that the ground is almost impossible to see, but viewed from the air reveal a wide variety of shapes: circles, crosses, squares, swastikas, etc..
Eight years later, thanks to a series of new images from NASA made public the Dey discoveries are fueling a debate among archaeologists, who can not agree on dating, on the purpose and even the number of those mysterious figures.
“It took a huge amount of work to build these facilities,” said Giedre Motuzaite Matuzeviciute, archaeologist Lithuanian Institute of History of Vilnius and head of the international team who studied 55 of artificial sites in the Kazakh steppe. “Here the soil is very heavy, as clay. And the excavations were made in the middle of nowhere “. The key people located in the Turgai region, sparsely populated area in the center of the country, including 21 crosses, a square, four circles and a kind of swastika, a symbol widely used in Central Asia. Many cover a larger area of a football field. According Matuzeviciute, the structures can be divided into two groups. Those of the first are placed on pads that overlook the river basins; those of the second, including one in the shape of a swastika, are plotted along rivers or in nearby burial sites that date back to the first centuries BC. Using modern techniques of dating, the archaeologist and his team found that two of the structures were built between 800 and 750 BC “It amazes us,” explains Matuzeviciute: “it was a time of transition.” Since the neighborhood of the structures was not found organic material that would have allowed the radiocarbon dating, the team used the said method to optically stimulated luminescence, which measures how long it has been since a finding has been exposed to the sun, with an accuracy of 20 years in more or in less. The purpose of the figures is even less clear on their age.
According to Dey they were solar observatories used for the worship of the sun in the Neolithic era: “I did the math,” he assures. But archaeologists are very skeptical.
“Given so, the structures could be anything from stockyards to stone circles, and even water works of the Soviet era,” says Michael Frachetti, an archaeologist at Washington University in St. Louis and Central Asian expert. Hypothesize that they date from a solar cult of the Neolithic “is not necessarily wrong,” he adds. “But it is not a statement based on the scientific method.” Matuzeviciute admits to have clearer answers still need to study a long time, but already clearly rejects the hypothesis of the fences (the structures do not have the typical form) and Soviet works (are much older). According to the scholar, the structures could be in some way linked to the migration of the saiga, antelope almost extinct today, but once an essential prey for hunters in the area. “Maybe they were built to mark their territory, also visible signals from distant valleys,” he says. “They are not like the Nazca lines, which can be seen only from above.”
As to the figures of the second group, may be a kind of Tamga, symbols used by the ancient Eurasian tribes to mark the animals and mark territory. According to Dey, there are 260; for Matuzeviciute, but in this group it is also included structures quite different: stockyards and burial mounds called kurgans, created in more recent times by the turkish strain tribes. From the maps the Lithuanian scholar has identified 55 ancient structures, but only half have so far been identified on the ground. Now his collaboration with Dey was interrupted: “In the past Dey gave the coordinates of the new objects he discovered, but then he stopped and went on his way.” Both teams aim to publish the results of their research in the coming months, hoping to overcome the scientific review. Meanwhile, Dey has left his job to devote himself to the project full time, and hopes to get funding to extend the research.
“We are a young nation,” he says, “but these studies help us to discover the extraordinary works created by our ancestors.”