Over 50 ancient and previously unknown geoglyphs, reminiscent of Peru’s famous Nazca lines, have been found in the Northern regions of Kazakhstan.
Using Google Earth, researchers were able to uncover a variety of geoglyphs in various shapes and sizes, IFLScience relates. The geometric shapes range from 90 to 400 meters (295 to 1,312 feet) in diameter, with some larger than a modern aircraft carrier. The largest geoglyphs suggest that they were created by a well-established, more advanced culture.
The formations include squares, rings, crosses, and even a giant swastika, a symbol used in ancient times — long before the Nazi party appropriated it. Difficult to observe from the ground, the geoglyphs are readily visible from the air, researchers say.
For over a year, a team from Kazakhstan’s Kostanay University has been studying the geoglyphs, working alongside researchers from Vilnius University in Lithuania. The teams have utilized a variety of methods, according to Discovery News, including ground-penetrating radar and aerial photography to examine the geoglyphs, which are mostly constructed from earthen mounds. The swastika, however, was fashioned from timber, unlike the others.
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The geoglyphs are similar in many ways to their well-known cousins in Nazca, Peru, commonly referred to as the Nazca lines. Geoglyphs are still being discovered in the region, as The Inquisitr previously reported, where over 700 shapes have been identified in the Nazca desert, depicting either natural objects or geometric figures. The Nazca geoglyphs were designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994.
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Archaeologists Irina Shevnina and Andrew Logvin, of Kostanay University, related that archaeological examination has revealed the remains of structures and fireplaces amid the geoglyphs, suggesting that they were used by ancient peoples for ritual purposes. Why geometric shapes were used in the construction of the geoglyphs also remains a mystery.
“As of today, we can say only one thing — the geoglyphs were built by ancient people. By whom and for what purpose, remains a mystery,” they said.
Surprisingly, geoglyphs are found in widely distributed areas across the globe, including England, the United States, Chile, and Russia. With the advent of satellite imagery and the ability of consumers to access it through platforms like Google Earth, they have become increasingly easy to discover. Both professional archaeologists and amateurs are able to identify and study formations like the Kazakhstan geoglyphs with relative ease.
[Image: Google Earth via IFLScience]