Via The Art Newspaper

Of the hundreds of archaeological sites in the world, almost all belong to cultures that had a complex social and cultural structure. Since the external conditions were a determining factor for the development of these civilizations, they usually settled in places where the climate was more manageable, or in the vicinity of rivers or forests where they could find resources.

That is why scientists were surprised to find large stone structures in the middle of the desert in Saudi Arabia. Discovered in the 1970s, the monuments were called Mustatils, which means rectangle in Arabic, but they did not receive much scientific attention for decades.

Recently, a new study managed to identify that these monuments hold the secrets of an ancient civilization that used them for religious purposes and more importantly, that they were built more than 7000 years ago. That makes the Mustatils one of the oldest monuments of the ancient of the world, even ahead of the pyramids of Egypt and Stonehenge.

In northwestern Arabia, scientists have been able to find around 1000 of these structures that can vary in size from 65 feet to almost 2000 feet. They’re spread in an immense territory of more than 77,000 square miles, so scientists had to use in addition to the excavation at the site, satellite images and mapping of the area with helicopters.

There are also circular structures that are presumed to have served as altars where tributes were offered to the deities they worshiped. The remains of goats, sheep bones, and cattle were found and are presumed to have been slaughtered at the site.

“We think people created these structures for ritual purposes in the Neolithic, which involved offering sacrifices of wild and domestic animals to an unknown deity/deities,” says Hugh Thomas, an archaeologist from the University of Western Australia.

The magnitude of the structures suggests that they were built by large groups of people with a high level of social organization.

Investigations will continue in the coming months as the findings, while exciting, raise many questions for scientists who now hope to unravel the secrets of this mysterious ancient civilization and clarify the details of the religious beliefs that led them to build temples. of such magnitude.