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No. 96: Nov-Dec 1994

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The "kites" or "keyhole" structures of the middle east

Thousands of walled structures decorate the deserts and plains of the Middle East. Most are V-shaped terminating in a cul de sac studded with large rock piles. (See illustration.) Most of the wall arms are 300-3,000 meters long. They are constructed of basalt rocks from ancient lava flows. Artifacts found nearby suggest ages of at least 7,000 years. Younger, but very similar, structures have been found in Central Asia.

Kite or keyhole structure of the Middle East
A. Betts of the University of Sydney has been exploring these walls and attempting to discern their purpose. The best explanation seems to be that the ancient inhabitants of the region drove herds of wild animals into the wide mouths of the kites and then slaughtered them when they were trapped at the corral-like ends. The worst explanation is that extraterrestrials built them for some unknown purpose!

(Anderson, Ian; "Prehistoric Prey Met Death through a Keyhole," New Scientist, p. 15, September 24, 1994.)

Comment. Some kite walls extend 30 kilometers (18 miles) and represent a considerable investment of labor. See also: Field, Henry; "Early Man in North Arabia," Natural History, 29:32, 1929. Of course, aliens could have herded ancient humans into the kites. Remember the classic sci-fi story: "To Serve Man"?

From Science Frontiers #96, NOV-DEC 1994. 1994-2000 William R. Corliss