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Purpose of prehistoric kite-shaped structures figured out

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  • Purpose of prehistoric kite-shaped structures figured out

    Source: Mystery of structures resembling kites from prehistoric times finally cracked


    After a century of research, archaeologists have finally figured out what these giant "desert kites" were meant to do.




    f2a262a8-7a82-40a3-9d58-288c0ecce6a0.jpg
    A kite by Kibbutz Samar, where two undulating walls are leading towards the round head.
    An Early Bronze Age grave (tumulus) was later built on top of the kite, and we found in it human
    and cattle bones, tiny beads and a stele.


    After a century of research, archaeologists from the University of Haifa, the University of Western Australia, and France’s National Centre for Scientific Research have recently discovered that mysterious shapes in the desert resembling "kites" were actually meant to act as mega-traps to isolate large herds of animals before they met their fates.

    Scattered throughout deserts across the Middle East, large structures that look like kites if you see them from above left behind by humans of the Neolithic era (10,000 BCE to between 4,500 and 2,000 BCE, depending on location) have led archaeologists to question their structural purposes for nearly a century.

    Finally, experts were able to crack down on these extensive, strategically-planned structures to figure out just what their purpose was.

    Coming in many shapes, with at least two long arms, low walls, and ending in a put, some of these structures appear like V's. Others look more circular, and a variety of other shapes throughout the region.

    These subtle structures were built to act as mega-traps that allowed groups of people to trap and kill herds in their entirety, rather than one by one. In a series of new archaeological studies and academic papers, industry leaders have tirelessly worked to come to this conclusion and finally find an answer to this desert-based global archaeological phenomenon.

    There are at least 6,500 of these archaeological marvels worldwide, with the Negev being home to some, as well as Saudi Arabia and even Australia. The earliest "kites" are recorded in Jordan dating back around 10,000 years, with others popping up across the globe as recently as 6,000 years ago.

    Just because these structures were created in prehistoric times, it doesn't mean that their usage stopped there. Researchers have identified 12 prehistoric kites in Israel alone, according to profs. Dani Nadel and Guy Bar-Oz of the University of Haifa. The experts shared that the dating for these kites is unclear, but the last known use of mega-traps of this nature was as late as the 20th century.

    Why do these kites exist?

    These giant walled kites were not meant to help with the slaughtering of animals that have been domesticated through the centuries - pigs, cows, goats, and so on, but were meant to help hunters trap and kill animal breeds that were not able to be domesticated.

    Antelopes, deer, gazelles and other species would find themselves plummeting to their deaths en-masse as part of a scheme to make wild animals that were otherwise difficult to tame more susceptible to mega hunting efforts.



    Source

    © Copyright Original Source



    Interestingly, similar structures in North America made by pre-Columbian indigenous people have long been thought to have been built to help hunters herd prey.


    figure-4-pronghorn-hunting.jpg
    Here is an example from southeastern Alberta, Canada

    So why did it take so long?

    I'm always still in trouble again

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  • #2
    Lack of communication between the two subfields?
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    • #3
      Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
      Source: Mystery of structures resembling kites from prehistoric times finally cracked


      After a century of research, archaeologists have finally figured out what these giant "desert kites" were meant to do.




      f2a262a8-7a82-40a3-9d58-288c0ecce6a0.jpg
      A kite by Kibbutz Samar, where two undulating walls are leading towards the round head.
      An Early Bronze Age grave (tumulus) was later built on top of the kite, and we found in it human
      and cattle bones, tiny beads and a stele.



      After a century of research, archaeologists from the University of Haifa, the University of Western Australia, and France’s National Centre for Scientific Research have recently discovered that mysterious shapes in the desert resembling "kites" were actually meant to act as mega-traps to isolate large herds of animals before they met their fates.

      Scattered throughout deserts across the Middle East, large structures that look like kites if you see them from above left behind by humans of the Neolithic era (10,000 BCE to between 4,500 and 2,000 BCE, depending on location) have led archaeologists to question their structural purposes for nearly a century.

      Finally, experts were able to crack down on these extensive, strategically-planned structures to figure out just what their purpose was.

      Coming in many shapes, with at least two long arms, low walls, and ending in a put, some of these structures appear like V's. Others look more circular, and a variety of other shapes throughout the region.

      These subtle structures were built to act as mega-traps that allowed groups of people to trap and kill herds in their entirety, rather than one by one. In a series of new archaeological studies and academic papers, industry leaders have tirelessly worked to come to this conclusion and finally find an answer to this desert-based global archaeological phenomenon.

      There are at least 6,500 of these archaeological marvels worldwide, with the Negev being home to some, as well as Saudi Arabia and even Australia. The earliest "kites" are recorded in Jordan dating back around 10,000 years, with others popping up across the globe as recently as 6,000 years ago.

      Just because these structures were created in prehistoric times, it doesn't mean that their usage stopped there. Researchers have identified 12 prehistoric kites in Israel alone, according to profs. Dani Nadel and Guy Bar-Oz of the University of Haifa. The experts shared that the dating for these kites is unclear, but the last known use of mega-traps of this nature was as late as the 20th century.

      Why do these kites exist?

      These giant walled kites were not meant to help with the slaughtering of animals that have been domesticated through the centuries - pigs, cows, goats, and so on, but were meant to help hunters trap and kill animal breeds that were not able to be domesticated.

      Antelopes, deer, gazelles and other species would find themselves plummeting to their deaths en-masse as part of a scheme to make wild animals that were otherwise difficult to tame more susceptible to mega hunting efforts.



      Source

      © Copyright Original Source



      Interestingly, similar structures in North America made by pre-Columbian indigenous people have long been thought to have been built to help hunters herd prey.

      figure-4-pronghorn-hunting.jpg
      Here is an example from southeastern Alberta, Canada


      So why did it take so long?
      UPDATE: An example of the same thing but only different found underwater off of Germany in the Baltic Sea.

      3D model shows a short section of the stonewall as it currently appears under the Baltic Sea.


      A megastructure found in the Baltic Sea may represent one of the oldest known hunting structures used in the Stone Age — and could change what’s known about how hunter-gatherers lived around 11,000 years ago.

      Researchers and students from Kiel University in Germany first came across the surprising row of stones located about 69 feet (21 meters) underwater during a marine geophysical survey along the seafloor of the Bay of Mecklenburg, about 6 miles (9.7 kilometers) off the coast of Rerik, Germany.

      The discovery, made in the fall of 2021 while aboard the research vessel RV Alkor, revealed a wall made of 1,670 stones that stretched for more than half a mile (1 kilometer). The stones, which connected several large boulders, were almost perfectly aligned, making it seem unlikely that nature had shaped the structure.

      After the researchers alerted the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern State Office for Culture and Monument Preservation to their find, an investigation began to determine what the structure might be and how it ended up at the bottom of the Baltic Sea. Diving teams and an autonomous underwater vehicle were used to study the site.

      The team determined that the wall was likely built by Stone Age communities to hunt reindeer more than 10,000 years ago.

      A study describing the structure was published Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

      “Our investigations indicate that a natural origin of the underwater stonewall as well as a construction in modern times, for instance in connection with submarine cable laying or stone harvesting are not very likely. The methodical arrangement of the many small stones that connect the large, non-moveable boulders, speaks against this,” said lead study author Dr. Jacob Geersen, senior scientist at the Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research in Germany, in a statement.

      Turning back time

      The wall was likely built more than 10,000 years ago along the shoreline of a lake or a bog, according to the study. Rocks were plentiful in the area at the time, left behind by glaciers that had moved across the landscape.

      But studying and dating submerged structures is incredibly difficult, so the research team had to analyze how the region has evolved to determine the approximate age of the wall. They collected sediment samples, created a 3D model of the wall and virtually reconstructed the landscape where it was originally built.

      Sea levels rose significantly after the end of the last ice age about 8,500 years ago, which would have led to the wall and large parts of the landscape being flooded, according to the study authors.

      But things were different nearly 11,000 years ago.

      “At this time, the entire population across northern Europe was likely below 5,000 people. One of their main food sources were herds of reindeer, which migrated seasonally through the sparsely vegetated post-glacial landscape,” said study coauthor Dr. Marcel Bradtmöller, research assistant in prehistory and early history at the University of Rostock in Germany, in a statement. “The wall was probably used to guide the reindeer into a bottleneck between the adjacent lakeshore and the wall, or even into the lake, where the Stone Age hunters could kill them more easily with their weapons.”


      Researchers virtually reconstructed how the wall likely appeared during the Stone Age.


      The hunter-gatherers used spears, bows and arrows to catch their prey, Bradtmöller said.

      A secondary structure may have been used to create the bottleneck, but the research team hasn’t found any evidence of it yet, Geersen said. However, it’s likely that the hunters guided the reindeer into the lake because the animals were slow swimmers, he said.

      And the hunter-gatherer community seemed to recognize that the deer would follow the path created by the wall, the researchers said.

      “It seems that the animals are attracted by such linear structures and that they would rather follow the structure instead of trying to cross it, even if it is only 0.5 meters (1.6 feet) high,” Geersen said.

      The discovery changes the way researchers think about highly mobile groups like hunter-gatherers, Bradtmöller said. Building a massive permanent structure like the wall implies that these regional groups may have been more location-focused and territorial than previously believed, he said.

      Hunting sites around the world

      The discovery marks the first Stone Age hunting structure in the Baltic Sea region. But other comparable prehistoric hunting structures have been found elsewhere around the globe, including the United States and Greenland, as well as Saudi Arabia and Jordan, where researchers have discovered traps known as “desert kites.”

      Stonewalls and hunting blinds built for hunting caribou were previously found at the bottom of Lake Huron in Michigan and discovered at a depth of 98 feet (30 meters). The Lake Huron wall’s construction and location, which includes a lakeshore to one side, is most similar to the Baltic Sea wall’s, the study authors said.

      Meanwhile, the scientists continue their investigation in the Baltic using sonar and sounding devices, as well as planning future dives to search for archaeological finds. Only by combining the expertise from those in fields like marine geology, geophysics and archaeology are such discoveries possible, Geersen said.



      The full paper, A submerged Stone Age hunting architecture from the Western Baltic Sea, can be found by clicking the hyperlink, but I made the Abstract available here as well

      Significance

      Structures from the Stone Age can provide unique insights into Late Glacial and Mesolithic cultures around the Baltic Sea. Such structures, however, usually did not survive within the densely populated Central European subcontinent. Here, we explore a Stone Age megastructure, that has preserved under water in the Western Baltic Sea. It was likely constructed by hunter–gatherer groups more than 10000 y ago and ultimately drowned during the Littorina transgression at 8500 y B.P. Since then, it remained hidden at the seafloor, leading to a pristine preservation that will inspire research on the lifestyle and territorial development in the larger area.

      Abstract

      The Baltic Sea basins, some of which only submerged in the mid-Holocene, preserve Stone Age structures that did not survive on land. Yet, the discovery of these features is challenging and requires cross-disciplinary approaches between archeology and marine geosciences. Here, we combine shipborne and autonomousunderwater vehicle hydroacoustic data with up to a centimeter range resolution, sedimentological samples, and optical images to explore a Stone Age megastructure located in 21 m water depth in the Bay of Mecklenburg, Germany. The structure is made of 1,673 individual stones which are usually less than 1 m in height, placed side by side over a distance of 971 m in a way that argues against a natural origin by glacial transport or ice push ridges. Running adjacent to the sunken shoreline of a paleolake (or bog), whose youngest phase was dated to 9,143 ±36 ka B.P., the stonewall was likely used for hunting the Eurasian reindeer (Rangifer tarandus) during the Younger Dryas or early Pre-Boreal. It was built by hunter–gatherer groups that roamed the region after the retreat of the Weichselian Ice Sheet. Comparable Stone Age megastructures have become known worldwide in recent times but are almost unknown in Europe. The site represents one of the oldest documented man-made hunting structures on Earth, and ranges among the largest known Stone Age structure in Europe. It will become important for understanding subsistence strategies, mobility patterns, and inspire discussions concerning the territorial development in the Western Baltic Sea region.






      I'm always still in trouble again

      "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
      "Overall I would rate the withdrawal from Afghanistan as by far the best thing Biden's done" --Starlight
      "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

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