The fact that we still have not explored our planet entirely blows my mind.
Image Credit: Nick Brooks / Joanne Clarke.
According to reports, researchers have discovered hundreds of stone structures believed to date back thousands of years in Western Sahara, an area scarcely explored by experts.
And it’s not that experts don’t find the area interesting, it’s that Western Sahara is controlled by two different states: Morocco holds about 75 percent of the Western Saharan territory, including the coastline. However, 25 percent of Western Sahara is controlled by the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic; a partially recognized state that claims the non-self-governing territory of Western Sahara, but controls only the easternmost one-fifth of that territory.
Prior to 1991, these two governments were at war.
The enigmatic structures vary in size and shape, and due to their differences, experts have still not been able to decide what exactly they were used for, nor when exactly they were created.
The report about the structures has been published in the book “The Archaeology of Western Sahara: A Synthesis of Fieldwork, 2002 to 2009” (Oxbow Books, 2018).
As reported by experts, archaeologists explored parts of Western Sahara between 2002 and 2009, where they excavated a small area controlled by the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic.
“Due to its history of conflict, detailed archaeological and palaeoenvironmental research in Western Sahara has been extremely limited,” explained Joanne Clarke, a senior lecturer at the University of East Anglia, and Nick Brooks, an independent researcher.
“The archaeological map of Western Sahara remains literally and figuratively almost blank as far as the wider international archaeological research community is concerned, particularly away from the Atlantic coast,” wrote Clarke and Brooks, noting that people living in the area know of the stone structures, and some work has been done by Spanish researchers on rock art in Western Sahara, reports Live Science.
As explained by experts, the Saharan structures appear to be designed in a number of ways, ranking from crescent-shaped stone structures to circular structures as well as straight lines.
Some of them were crafted to resemble rectangles looking like a platform, while other structures were built of rocks piled up into a heap.
Curiously, some of the structures are a combination of various shapes.
As noted by scientists in the book, one particular structure is made of a mixture of straight lines, stone circles, as well as a platform and rock pile that altogether for a unique structure more than 2,000 feet long.
The exact purpose of the enigmatic structures remains a mystery, although theories suggest that some of the structures may mark the location of tombs.