More Mysterious “Big Circles” in the Near East

Discovery of More Mysterious “Big Circles” in the Near East Puzzle Archaeologists


Big Circle “J1”

In the 1920s, British captain Lionel Rees flew across the deserts of present-day Jordan and discovered for the first time enormous, circular stone installations, nowadays popularly known as “Big Circles.” Despite Rees’ aerial photographs and the mysterious nature of the monuments, the “Big Circles” were largely ignored at the time. It was only about a decade ago that archaeologists began a more active investigation. Professor David Kennedy of University of Western Australia and Aerial Photographic Archive for Archaeology in the Middle East, for instance, participated in a project verifying whether there were more “Big Circles.” To a great surprise, the project has located many other stone circles: 1 in Syria, 2 in southeastern Turkey and, last but certainly not least, 12 in Jordan. Some of the circles measure up to about 400m in diameter, and the stones are at times stacked approximately 1 meter high. Many questions remain unanswered, including how old the circles exactly are; however, a significant progress has been made. Kennedy has collected a series of high-resolution images of the circles and published his research last year in the German publication Zeitschrift für Orient-Archäologie.

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