Google Earth Helps Researchers Spot Ancient Stone Gates in Saudi Arabia

Satellite view of Saudi Arabia

The stone gates have been built by the ancestors of Beduins

If you thought Saudi Arabia was only a barren desert, think again. A team of researchers used Google Earth’s help to uncover some huge stone gates on the territory of the country, suggesting the landscape was not as deserted as they used to think. Now, they think the area hosted an unknown ancient civilization, and that many other sites await their discovery.

The stone gates are not visible from ground level

Researchers explored Saudi Arabia with the help of a series of images displayed on Google Earth, and spotted a series of stone walls which haven’t been discovered before. These walls are actually 400 gates which are hard to spot at ground level, but become visible as soon as you go up several hundreds of feet.

In fact, from the ground level, they look like some simple flat gates, connected between one another by several bars. Therefore, researchers decided to call them like that instead of walls. Even if they are now uncovered, their secrets remain hidden. Judging from their looks, these formations couldn’t have housed humans neither when they were alive nor when they were dead.

The formations might indicate the presence of older civilizations in Saudi Arabia

However, they could estimate an age when these were built, even if the period was quite vague. Therefore, the gates should have come into being sometime between 2,000 and 9,000 years ago. Also, the builders must have been the ancestors of today’s Beduins which live in the area. They call other similar stone formations ‘The Works of Old Men’.

David Kennedy, the researcher responsible with finding the gates, spotted them in the most interesting of ways. He has never been to Saudi Arabia, but the formations would have been difficult to spot anyway at ground level. Therefore, he used Google Earth imagery to make the amazing discovery. The study on the stone gates is scheduled for publication next month in the journal Arabian Archaeology and Epigraphy.
Image Source: Flickr

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Karen Jackson has always been passionate about technology. All the way through high-school she immersed herself in computers and web-design. Her ambitious nature helped her become a pro in Adobe Photoshop only by watching online videos and working with the program herself. This is also the program that she mostly uses in the creation of websites at her work-place. Technological innovation and gadgets that push the boundaries of what we are comfortable with have always fascinated her, so expect to see some weird gadget reviews coming from her.