Thursday, 03 September 2015  -  19 Dhul-Qada 1436 H
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Who created these huge, mysterious wheel patterns?

JEDDAH – Mysterious giant wheel patterns in Saudi Arabia, Syria and Jordan, which have baffled archeologists and historians for years, are once again in news.
David Kennedy, a professor of classics and ancient history at the University of Western Australia, has done a new research on these mysterious “geoglyphs.”
The research, which will be published in a forthcoming issue of the Journal of Archaeological Science, reveals that these wheels form part of a variety of stone landscapes.
These include kites (stone structures used for funnelling and killing animals); pendants (lines of stone cairns that run from burials); and walls, mysterious structures that meander across the landscape for up to several hundred feet and have no apparent practical use.
In Saudi Arabia, Kennedy’s team has found wheel styles that are quite different: Some are rectangular and are not wheels at all; others are circular but contain two spokes forming a bar often aligned in the same direction that the sun rises and sets in the Middle East.
Cairns are often found associated with the wheels. Sometimes they circle the perimeter of the wheel, other times they are in among the spokes.
In Saudi Arabia some of the cairns look, from the air, like they are associated with ancient burials.
But the mystery is: Who created these huge, wheel patterns thousands of years ago? Called geoglyphs, these strange circular patterns etched into the rocky sands have no known meaning or origin. Though archeologists say they likely date back over 2,000 years, there are no records of who made them, nor why they would make such elaborate patterns that can only be appreciated from the air.
Archeologist David Kennedy and his team undertook the study of these wheels, known since airplane pilots began flying over them and taking pictures in the early 20th century.
Now, using the old photos from pilots and satellite data from Google Earth, Kennedy has surveyed thousands of images of the structures — and found no explanation for them.
They were actually first discovered in 1927 by an RAF pilot called Lt. Percy Maitland.
From the ground the wheels aren’t particularly notable. They look like rock patterns, but it’s hard to see exactly what their shapes might be.
It’s only when you see them from above that you realize how carefully they’ve been crafted, and designed well enough to endure for millennia. Were they for astrological events, or honoring the dead? Without more evidence, Kennedy says it’s impossible to say.
Other researchers have compared them to the Nazca Lines in Peru — vast etchings in rock that can only be appreciated from above. – SG
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