Archaeologists Unravel Centuries-Old Mystery of Prehistoric 'Kites'

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 Archaeologists unravel centuries-old mystery of prehistoric “kites”

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The Middle East is littered with gigantic stone structures first seen by RAF pilots in the 1920s. Pilots dubbed the strange structures “kites”.

It has been established that almost everywhere Neolithic people entered the arid regions, they built crude megastructures of various shapes. Common to such buildings are low “travel” walls, often with holes at intervals along the converging walls.

According to new research by Prof. Remy Crassard of France's National Center for Scientific Research, Rebecca Repper of the University of Western Australia and others, these were megatraps. With their help, ancient people killed migrating animals in herds.
According to the researchers, their construction shows a profound change in hunting strategy. The low walls were erected to guide fleeing animals into a pit or abyss.

Rapper's article reports on 207 previously unknown megatraps in northwestern Saudi Arabia. In some areas, builders have built chains of mega-traps up to 60 kilometers away so that animals that escape one trap fall into the next. In Israel, researchers have identified 12 prehistoric kites.

The last known use of such mega traps was in the 20th century.

“Mega traps have changed the landscape of the Middle East from prehistoric times and changed the ecology”, – explains Professor Krassar. “Perhaps this practice has led to the local or general extinction of some species”.

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