Category Archives: ASIA

Israel discovers 7,000-year-old seal impression

Israel discovers 7,000-year-old seal impression

Israeli archaeologists unveiled a 7,000-year-old clay seal impression used for commerce and protection of property, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (HU) said.

Israel discovers 7,000-year-old seal impression

A team of archaeologists from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (HU) made a rare discovery when they unearthed a small clay seal impression dating back some 7,000 years.

The impression, with two different geometric stamps imprinted on it, was discovered in Tel Tsaf, a prehistoric village located in Israel’s Beit She’an Valley in the country’s north.

The finding was uncovered as part of an excavation headed by HU’s Professor Yosef Garfinkel and two of his students, Professor David Ben Shlomo and Dr Michael Freikman, both of whom are currently researchers at Ariel University, between 2004 and 2007.

One hundred and fifty clay sealings were originally found at the site, with one being particularly rare and of distinct, historic importance. The object was published in the journal the Levant.

Sealings, also known as bulla, are little pieces of clay that were used in ancient times to seal and sign texts, preventing others from reading their contents.

The sealing discovered at Tel Tsaf is important because it is the first indication of the employment of seals to identify shipments or shutter silos or barns. When a barn door was opened, its seal impression would break – a telltale sign that someone had been there and that the contents inside had been touched or taken.

Tel Tsaf seal and a modern impression.

“Even today, similar types of sealing are used to prevent tampering and theft,” explained Garfinkel. “It turns out that this was already in use 7,000 years ago by landowners and local administrators to protect their property.”

The shard, which was less than a millimetre across, was discovered in excellent condition due to the dry environment of the Beit She’an valley. Symmetrical lines denote the sealing.

While many sealings discovered in the First Temple Jerusalem (about 2,600 years ago) incorporate a personal name and occasionally biblical figures, the sealing from Tel Tsaf dates from a time before writing was invented.

Instead of lettering, their seals were embellished with geometric designs. The presence of two separate stamps on the seal imprint may suggest a type of business operation in which two separate persons were participating.

The found fragment underwent extensive analysis before researchers could determine that it was indeed a seal impression.

According to Garfinkel, this is the earliest evidence that seals were used in Israel approximately 7,000 years ago to sign deliveries and keep store rooms closed. While seals have been found in that region dating back to 8,500 years ago, seal impressions from that time have not been found.

Based on a careful scientific analysis of the sealing’s clay, the researchers found it wasn’t locally sourced but came from a location at least ten kilometres away. Other archaeological finds at the site reveal evidence that the Tel Tsaf residents were in contact with populations far beyond ancient Israel.

“At this very site we have evidence of contact with peoples from Mesopotamia, Turkey, Egypt and Caucasia,” Garfinkel added. “There is no prehistoric site anywhere in the Middle East that reveals evidence of such long-distance trade in exotic items as what we found at this particular site.”

The site also yielded clues that the area was home to people of considerable wealth who built up large stores of ingredients and materials, indicating considerable social development.

This evidence points to Tel Tsaf as having been a key position in the region that served both local communities and people passing through.

“We hope that continued excavations at Tel Tsaf and other places from the same time period will yield additional evidence to help us understand the impact of a regional authority in the southern Levant,” concluded Garfinkel.

Preserved in poop: 1,000-year-old chicken egg found in Israel

Preserved in poop: 1,000-year-old chicken egg found in Israel

Archaeologists discover an almost fully intact but nearly empty egg and three rare Islamic-period bone dolls in the excavation of settlement dating from the Byzantine period.

Preserved in poop: 1,000-year-old chicken egg found in Israel
Israel Antiquities Authority discovered a fully intact 1,000-year-old chicken egg

During recent digs in the central village of Yavne, archaeologists unearthed an exceedingly unusual, almost fully intact 1,000-year-old chicken egg, according to the Israel Antiquities Authority.

The unexpected discovery was made during an IAA salvage excavation of a historic cesspit going back to the Islamic period, which was carried out ahead of a new neighbourhood construction.

Archaeologists were astounded to uncover a fragile ancient chicken egg that had been perfectly preserved a millennium ago by being originally pillowed in soft human dung within a cesspit, according to an IAA news statement.

“The egg’s unique preservation is evidently due to the conditions in which it lay for centuries, nestled in a cesspit containing soft human waste that preserved it,” IAA archaeologist Alla Nagorsky, the site’s excavation director, said. “Even today, eggs rarely survive for long in supermarket cartons. It’s amazing to think this is a 1,000-year-old find!”

Since the shell was slightly cracked, most of its contents leaked out, but part of the yoke was still inside, which will allow further analysis in the future.

The egg from the excavation

Chicken has been raised in Israel for consumption of eggs and meat for some 2,300 years since the Hellenist period and early Roman period.

Bone assemblages in the land indicate that from the 7th century when the Islamic period began, pork consumption drastically decreased compared to previous centuries.

Three 1,000-year-old Islamic-period bone dolls from the cesspit in Yavne

“Families needed a ready protein substitute that does not require cooling and preservation, and they found it in eggs and chicken meat,” Perry Gal said.

The egg further cracked when it was removed from the site, but was restored to its original state in the IAA organics lab.

The cesspit also contained some other objects, including three bone dolls from the same period.

Palaeontologists discover nearly complete dinosaur skeleton in China – fossil is ’70 per cent intact’

Palaeontologists discover nearly complete dinosaur skeleton in China – fossil is ’70 per cent intact’

Palaeontologists in southwest China have unearthed a fossil from the Jurassic period that is 70 per cent intact and belongs to a dinosaur believed to be nearly 8 metres in length.

The fossil, which dates back 180-million-years, was discovered in late May in the city of Lufeng, which is in the province of Yunnan in Southern China.

Following the groundbreaking discovery, staff with the Dinosaur Fossil Conservation and Research Center started carrying out emergency excavations to help prevent damage to the remaining bones. It was done quickly as the area is prone to soil erosion, according to reports.

Palaeontologists discover nearly complete dinosaur skeleton in China - fossil is '70 per cent intact'
Lufengosaurus is a genus of massospondylid dinosaurs who lived in the early Jurassic period in what is now known as southwestern China.

Wang Tao, Head of the Dinosaur Fossil Conservation and Research Center of Lufeng City, said finding a nearly complete Lufengosaurus is very rare, adding that the find is a ‘national treasure’.

“Such a highly complete dinosaur fossil is a rare find around the world. Based on the fossil that was have discovered over the years, on its tail, and thigh bones, we believe this is a type of giant Lufengosaurus, which lived during the Early Jurassic period,” he said.

Photos were taken at the excavation site show workers delicately brushing the red soil to uncover the skeleton.

Lufengosaurus is a genus of massospondylid dinosaurs who lived in the early Jurassic period in what is now known as southwestern China.

The species grabbed international headlines in 2017 when scientists found 195-million-year-old collagen protein in the rib of a Lufengosarus fossil.

This isn’t the only significant dino fossil find in China this year. Back in January, a 120-million-year-old fossil helped researchers and scientists to bridge the gap between dinosaurs and modern birds.

After researchers analysed and studied the fossil, the species was dubbed as ‘Wulong bohaiensis’ or ‘the dancing dragon’ and described as a strange mix between a bird and a dinosaur.

The researchers from China and the United States said the dinosaur was about the size of a raven with a long and bony tail.

Further study revealed its body was covered with feathers with two plumes at the end of the tail.

Archaeologists Unearth Largest Ancient Roman Basilica of its Kind in Israel

Archaeologists Unearth Largest Ancient Roman Basilica of its Kind in Israel

The Roman basilica complex was unearthed in excavations as part of an extensive development project in the Ashkelon national park. Tel Ashkelon National Park has recently undergone extensive development work, initiated and funded by Nature and Parks Authority, Ashkelon Municipality and the Leon Levy Foundation, during which the Israel Antiquities Authority recently revealed a magnificent 2,000-year-old basilica that is the largest of its kind in Israel. 

The Basilica and Theater Complex in Tel Ashkelon National Park.

The exciting finds, which also include an ancient odeon (theatre), are now being revealed for the first time and will soon be open to visitors to Tel Ashkelon National Park, enhancing the visitor experience at the site. The site will be opened on completion of the development, conservation and restoration work, which includes erecting sculptures and marble columns found in excavations at the site.

Nature and Parks Authority and the Ashkelon Municipality are also developing and constructing a new network of accessible paths designed to showcase and provide better access to the park’s unique nature, heritage and landscape, thereby enhancing the visitor experience.

During the Roman period, the public life of the city revolved around its basilica (a Roman public building), where its citizens transacted business, met for social and legal matters and held performances and religious ceremonies. 

According to Dr Rachel Bar-Natan, Saar Ganor and Fredrico Kobrin, excavation directors on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, “The huge building is covered with a roof and divided into three parts – a central hall and two side halls.

The hall was surrounded by rows of marble columns and capitals, which rose to an estimated height of 13 meters and supported the building’s roof. The floor and walls were built of marble.” 

The marble, discovered during many years of archaeological excavations lasting until two years ago, was imported from Asia Minor in merchant ships that reached the shores of Ashkelon, which was a famous, bustling trade city. Roughly 200 marble items weighing hundreds of tons have been found in all, testifying to the building’s great splendour.

Archaeologists Unearth Largest Ancient Roman Basilica of its Kind in Israel
Excavation of the basilica in the Tel Ashkelon National Park

Among the items, dozens of column capitals with plant motifs were discovered, some bearing an eagle – the symbol of the Roman Empire. Pillars and heart-shaped capitals stood in the corners of the building.

Excavations by the British in the 1920s unearthed huge statues, including a statue of Nike, the goddess of victory, supported by the god Atlas holding a sphere, and a statue of Isis – an Egyptian deity depicted as Tyche, the city’s goddess of fortune.

Statues at the site.

The basilica was devastated by the earthquake that struck the country in 363 CE. The effects of the seismic waves are clearly visible on the building’s floor, providing tangible evidence of the events of that year in Ashkelon. After its destruction, the building was abandoned.

During the Abbasid and Fatimid periods, the site of the basilica was transformed into an industrial area and several installations were built in it. In one of these, marble pillars and capitals from the basilica were incorporated in secondary use in the buildings’ walls. There is evidence from the Ottoman period that marble items were cut up for use as paving stones and some of the beautiful architectural features were taken for building construction.

The conservation department of the Israel Antiquities Authority is conducting complex preservation and restoration work on the odeon and the impressive basilica, led by Nature and Parks Authority and generously funded by the Leon Levy Foundation. The work involves placing the spectacular marble sculptures of ancient Ashkelon in the southern part of the basilica. In the first stage, the odeon will be conserved and restored.

Thanks to the Leon Levy Foundation’s donation, it will incorporate modern seating, a stage and a series of explanatory signs. At the same time, a pilot program at the site has begun installing the impressive marble items in place, in a complex operation in which one of the pillars, weighing dozens of tons, was hoisted into the basilica. The floor of the excavated basilica will be restored and filled in, and additional columns will be placed around the perimeter based on lessons learned from the initial program.

The public will then be able to access a magnificent basilica, the largest in Israel. In the meantime, visitors will be able to sit on the seating in the odeon – to be completed in the coming months – and observe the work on the nearby basilica.

Meanwhile, the new system of accessible paths being developed by Nature and Parks Authority and Ashkelon Municipality in the national park aims to make the park’s unique nature, heritage and landscape more readily available, thereby enhancing the visitor experience. The route, about 2 km long, will go through the national park’s main sites, including the world’s oldest arched Canaanite gate, the famous wells of the ancient city, the basilica and the odeon, and the Crusader walls. This chronological trail tracing Ashkelon’s history through the ages will be clearly lined with content signage.

A second trial will lead to the ancient wall and Ashkelon’s dunes, providing a glimpse of the rich flora and fauna to the south of the national park. Between the two trails, in the centre of the park, a new visitor centre will illustrate in an experiential interactive way the vibrant life of the port city and its importance throughout the various periods.

According to Shaul Goldstein, CEO of the Israel Nature and Parks Authority, “The Tel Ashkelon National Park combines a fascinating antiquities site with unique natural resources characteristic of the dunes in the coastal plain. It was the first national park to be declared in Israel in the 1960s and since then, it has been constantly evolving and renewing for the benefit of visitors from all over the country. The unveiling of the basilica and odeon together with the development, preservation and restoration work, which includes the installation of pillars and ancient marble sculptures found in excavations at the site, as well as the addition of new and accessible trails around points of major interest will undoubtedly enhance visits to the park and further emphasize its heritage and uniqueness. We are grateful to our partners for providing tremendous support and guidance in the national park’s development, including the generous assistance of Mrs Shelby White and the Leon Levy Foundation under the close supervision of archaeologist Prof. Daniel Master.”

Ashkelon Mayor Tomer Glam says, “The Ashkelon National Park is one of the most important ancient sites, both in Israel and in the world, and time and time again it emerges as one of the most visited sites in the country. The city takes great pride in it, investing resources and funding in cooperation with Nature and Parks Authority, encouraging visitors by subsidizing entry for Ashkelon’s residents and promoting educational and community initiatives. We have recently also finished upgrading the entrance road to the park, which has been transformed to give the park the dignity it deserves. I am convinced that the restoration and conservation work in the park, the new archaeological discoveries and the development work – including new accessible paths – will contribute significantly to the park’s natural beauty and strengthen its status as the most beautiful and well-kept national park in Israel.”

Shelby White, the founder of the Leon Levy Foundation, explains that the conservation and restoration work was made possible, among other things, thanks to its generous donation, “When Leon and I visited Ashkelon in 1985, we did not imagine that our ties with that ancient seaport would last for over three decades. I am glad that the odeon, one of the many archaeological discoveries made by the Leon Levy expedition, will now be restored and the famous Roman sculptures of Ashkelon will be returned to their original location. Thanks to this, visitors to the Ashkelon National Park from Israel and around the world will be able to imagine this great city in all its ancient glory.”

See Also: MORE ARCHAEOLOGY NEWS

“The basilica was founded by Herod the Great, and one historical source suggests that his family came from the city of Ashkelon,” add Ganor, Dr Bar-Natan and Kobrin of the Israel Antiquities Authority. “During the Roman Severan Dynasty, in the second and third centuries CE, the building was renovated, marble architectural features were brought to the site and a small theatre was added. Herodian coins discovered in the bedding of the structure’s ancient floors show that it was built at the time of one of the greatest builders ever to have lived in the country. The writings of the historian Josephus mention Herod’s construction in the city of Ashkelon and list fountains, a bathhouse and collonaded halls. Today, based on the new archaeological evidence, we can understand the origins of the historical record.” 

Sassanid-Era Tables and Chairs Unearthed in Iran

Sassanid-Era Tables and Chairs Unearthed in Iran

According to a Tehran Times report, tables and chairs carved from gypsum have been unearthed at the site of a Zoroastrian fire temple in central Iran by a team of researchers from the University of Isfahan and the University of Tehran. 

Available evidence suggests the furniture was once used for traditional rituals during the Sassanid era (224-651), according to the Research Institute of Cultural Heritage & Tourism.

A joint team of archaeologists from the universities of Isfahan, Tehran discovered the objects at a fire temple in Vigol, which is located approximately 10 km north of Aran-Bidgol near Kashan.

In many ways, Iran under Sassanian rule witnessed tremendous achievements of Persian civilization. Experts say that during the Sassanid era, the art and architecture of the nation experienced a general renaissance.

In that era, crafts such as metalwork and gem-engraving grew highly sophisticated, as scholarship was encouraged by the state; many works from both the East and West were translated into Pahlavi, the official language of the Sassanians.

Encyclopedia Britannica states that a revival of Iranian nationalism took place under the Sassanid rule.

Zoroastrianism became the state religion, and at various times followers of other faiths suffered official persecution.

The government was centralized, with provincial officials directly responsible to the throne, and roads, city building, and even agriculture were financed by the government.

The dynasty was destroyed by Arab invaders during a span from 637 to 651.

Aran-Bidgol is the gateway to the Maranjab desert and caravansary, which also draws thousands of domestic travellers each year.

The desert, which is a top destination for off-roaders, lead to salt lake from the north, Band-e Rig and Desert National Park from the east, Masileh Desert, Hoz-e sultan and Moreh Lakes from the west and eventually Aran and Bidgol from the south.

Situated in Isfahan province, the town is surrounded by desert from the north and east, and thus it has a typical climate of hot and dry in summer, cold and dry in winter, and very little rainfall during the year.

A pyramid-shaped mound holding 30 corpses may be the world’s oldest war monument

A pyramid-shaped mound holding 30 corpses may be the world’s oldest war monument

The massive burial mound, which includes the corpses of at least 30 Syrian warriors and is now underwater, may be the oldest battle monument ever uncovered, according to experts. Tel Banat’s ruins stretch back at least 4,300 years.

Here’s what the ancient memorial looked like before it was flooded from the construction of a dam.

This monument is also the first example of a particular type of monument found in ancient inscriptions. Mesopotamia The corpses of either the enemy or the local war dead are piled up to form a highly organized structure.

The finding also shows that “as we did, ancient people paid homage to those who died in the war,” said Anne Porter, a professor of ancient Middle Eastern civilization at the University of Toronto. “I don’t know if they are the winners or losers of the battle. [the people from Tell Banat] Perhaps sometime after the incident, he took the body of the dead from another location and buried it in a huge mound that could be seen miles around, “Porter said in a statement.

A monument a little like the Step Pyramid of King Jezel Djoser To Egypt Archaeologists wrote in a paper published in the journal on May 28, except that the layers of the monument are made of earth and plaster instead of stone.

A pyramid-shaped mound holding 30 corpses may be the world's oldest war monument
The ancient war monument looked a bit like the step pyramid of Djoser in Egypt.

AncientArchaeologists write that people who lived in the area today called this mound a “white monument” because plaster shines the monument in the sun.

The site was excavated between 1988 and 1999 by a team led by Porter and Thomas McClelland, both of whom were archaeologists of the Euphrates Salvage Project at the time, but researchers have so far They did not fully understand the purpose. They carried out these excavations before the site was flooded by the construction of the Tishrin Dam.

Since then, the same archaeologist, along with an undergraduate student at the University of Toronto, scrutinized the findings and determined that the location was probably the oldest known example of the war monument in the world. They also discovered that the monument was built on top of a previous building.

Dead military

Researchers were able to learn that the body was buried with great care. “Collection Human bone Deposited on Phil as a horizontal step [of the monument] It was built up. The research team placed the ancient treatises directly on the soil, without any special coverings or boundaries. “Bones are small, fragmented, somewhat diffuse, but still intentionally separate groups. It was divided into “.

The bodies were fragmented, and in many cases, the age and gender of the deceased could not be determined. Males could be identified, ranging from adults to ages 8-10. It is not clear why people between the ages of 8 and 10 are placed at the war monument.

The bones seem to have been dug out and re-buried in the monument. In his treatise, archaeologists said, “Bones may have come from old battlefields and graveyards. Nevertheless, they were selected, organized, and finally carefully preserved in the monument long after death. I did. ”

Some of the dead were buried with Kanga, a “donkey-like horse breed that pulls vehicles in ancient art,” the statement said. According to archaeologists, the soldiers buried with Kunga You may have worked as a wagon driver.

In addition, the team found pellets buried near the dead. In the ancient world, pellets fired from slings are often used as weapons, which may symbolize the role the deceased played when he was alive.

In a statement, Porter said, “I realized that there is a clear pattern of burial. A pair of bodies with horse skin on one part of the monument and pellets of soil on the other.

It’s a single individual, “he added, adding that the placement suggests individual bodies. It belonged to the ancient army. The organized ancient army could have been divided into various units, such as wagon units and infantry units equipped with slings and pellets.

A pattern suggesting an individual placed in “appears. [the memorial] Not only did they participate in the battle, but they also participated in a formal way: they were part of an organized army and were divided into infantry and infantry, “the archaeologist wrote.

The team also found a model of a covered wagon, a figurine depicting a clay kunga and wheels with the dead. The pyramid-shaped mound containing 30 bodies may be the oldest war monument in the world

Source link The pyramid-shaped mound containing 30 bodies may be the oldest war monument in the world

Beloved Gaza bookshop becomes a casualty of Israel-Hamas conflict

Beloved Gaza bookshop becomes a casualty of Israel-Hamas conflict

“If I compare it to what is happening, it is minimal, but destroying the main bookstore we have is something serious,” said Refhat Alarir, an academic.

At 6 am on Tuesday, Sameer Mansoor answered the call at his Gaza City home. This Israeli army was asking if it was a little more than a mile away inside its bookstore and publishing house. They said that they did not want to hurt her and then they disconnected the phone.

Shortly afterwards, the store – a beloved local institution standing on the ground floor of a large building – collapsed into a pile of rubble.

Beloved Gaza bookshop becomes a casualty of Israel-Hamas conflict
A Palestinian man holds a book he removed from under the rubble of the Kuhail building which housed Samir Mansour’s bookstore in Gaza City.

Established 21 years ago, his bookstore was one of the biggest sellers of books for children, students, academics and reading enthusiasts in the Gaza Strip. He also published books and published stories written by local authors.

“The bookstore was like my soul,” said 53-year-old Mansoor, who was born in the Gaza Strip and said he had nothing to do with politics.

“Books are my life.”

The Mansoor shop was one of the casualties of the fighting between Israel and Hamas, the militant group that controls the barricaded and impoverished Gaza Strip, home to 2 million Palestinians. Hamas has been labelled a terrorist organization by Israel and the United States.

According to officials on both sides, at least 230 Palestinians and 12 Israelis have been killed in the fighting. According to the Government Information Office in Gaza, 184 residential buildings and 1,335 housing units have been destroyed in Gaza.

A spokesman for the Israeli Defense Forces said they could not find specific information about the attack on the building that houses the bookstore.

The Israeli military said it has targeted more than 1,000 targets since the fighting began earlier this month. Israel says that its purpose is to avoid civilian casualties and that Hamas intentionally takes responsibility for locating its military infrastructure with civilians.

In addition to Israeli airstrikes, nearly 600 of the more than 4,000 rockets fired from Gaza towards Israel have fallen and landed in the Gaza Strip, according to the Israeli military, since the beginning of the fighting.

For the Palestinians, the bookstore played an important role as a centre of intellectual life, and its destruction represents a widespread loss of culture in Gaza.

“If I compare it to what is happening, it is minimal, but it is something serious to destroy the main bookstore we have,” Refhat, an academic and editor of the short story collection “Gaza Rights Back,” Alarir said.

Alarir has shopped in stores since 1997 when he began his studies at the Islamic University of Gaza. In addition to selling several titles in English, he said, the shop often supplies titles requested by customers and makes them affordable, something that other local bookstores were not able to do.

He now worries that “people won’t be able to buy the books they want, people won’t be able to read some novels for their university studies, especially for English majors.”

For Eman Bashar, Mansoor’s bookstore was more than just a place to buy books, it was a place where she met the man who had become her husband, a Palestinian writer of “The Complete Works of Ghassan Kanafani” Was bonding over a copy.

In the years that followed, Bashar, an English teacher, has built a library in his Jabalia home, which consists mainly of shop-bought books.

“This is where we met, so it killed a memory for me. It was very precious to us,” Bashar, who has two sons, said in a phone interview.

Located near several universities, including the Islamic University, Mansoor’s bookstore was also the informal home of several English-language book clubs.

Rahf Al Hallaq, a student of English literature at Islamic University, said, “When you lose a place like this, it breaks your heart because it takes away that place, which makes you the person you are.”.This latest round of fighting between Israel and the Palestinians began on May 7, when Israeli police raided the Al-Aqsa Mosque complex in Jerusalem during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Hamas responded by firing a rocket at Israel, which has responded with its bombing campaign.

Mansoor said he would like to renovate his store one day, though he is unsure when it will be.

“We’ll wait until the war is over,” he said.

Huge spiral found in the Indian desert may be the largest drawing ever made

Huge spiral found in the Indian desert may be the largest drawing ever made

A huge spiral covering 100,000 square metres discovered in the Indian desert may be the largest drawing ever made, according to experts, who say it dwarfs the Nazca lines in South America.  

The spiral artwork is made up of a series of small geoglyphs covering an area of about a million square feet in the Thar desert in India, first spotted on Google Earth by Carlo and Yohann Oetheimer, a father and son research team from France. 

Nazca lines in Peru are a group of geoglyphs etched into a 380 sq mile area of desert sands dating back to at least 500 BCE, featuring figures of animals and plants. 

While the South American geoglyphs are more plentiful, with up to 300 characters, and cover a larger area, a line in India is significantly larger than anyone Nazca line. 

The lines make up four distinct symbols, created by scraping sand and silt near the village of Boha, with the largest single symbol 2,374ft long and 650ft wide, made of a single seven and a half mile line spiralling inwards. 

Study authors, not affiliated with any institution, say the lines may be at least 150 years old, but can’t say anything more specific, adding their meaning is lost to history and they need to visit to study determine any dating.

Huge spiral found in the Indian desert may be the largest drawing ever made
Boha 3’s meandering lines.
Huge spirals discovered in the Indian desert may be the largest drawing ever made, according to experts, who say they dwarf the Nazca lines in South America

The duo searched through images on Google Earth showing the desert for unusual features. In the images they found eight possible sites, eventually discounting seven of them as being natural features.

The pair took a drone to the region in 2016 and flew it over the site.

During the drone flight, they found seven of eight predicted sites were actually just furrows dug for failed tree plantations. They found that the eighth site, near the village of Boha, had four distinct symbols, made up of 20 inch wide lines of varying length and complexity. 

At the centre of the selection of geoglyphs is a symbol 2,374ft long and 650ft wide, made of a single seven and a half mile spiralling line. 

South-west of this mega-spiral is a second line that repeatedly bends back on itself to form a grid of parallel lines, the team explained. There are also a pair of smaller geoglyphs to the north and south-west, but they are both heavily eroded. 

Despite the work being carried out by independent, researchers, ‘the report is convincing,’ says Daniela Valenzuela from the University of Tarapaca in Chile. 

The Nazca lines in Peru cover a wider area than the Thar lines, but the individual figures and lines are smaller, with the longest labyrinth line 2.7 miles long. The lines can’t be seen from the ground, according to the researchers, with Valenzuela saying ‘this may be significant. 

Adding that it may imply that their significance came from the act of creation, not later viewing by future people. 

The study authors wrote in their paper: ‘Three memorial stones positioned at key points, give evidence that planimetric knowledge has been used to create this elaborate design.’ 

Planimetric elements in geography are features independent of elevation – roads, rivers, lakes and buildings.

The lines make up four distinct symbols, created by scraping sand and silt near the village of Boha, with the largest single symbol 2,374ft long and 650ft wide, made of a single seven and a half mile line spiralling inwards

‘These artefacts allow us to envisage hypothetical modalities of edification,’ the authors wrote. 

‘We collected indicators of antiquity suggesting that these lines may be at least 150 years old and possibly linked to the Hindu memorial stones surrounding them. 

‘The lack of visibility from the ground raises the question of their function and meaning. So far, these geoglyphs, the largest discovered worldwide and for the first time in the Indian subcontinent, are also unique as regards their enigmatic signs.’ 

In the case of the Nazca line geoglyphs, they were likely created by people removing the black topsoil to reveal light-coloured sand hidden underneath.  Geoglyphs span large land tracts located between the towns of Palpa and Nazca, and some depict animals, objects or compact shapes.

The spiral artwork is made up of a series of small geoglyphs covering an area of about a million square feet in the Thar desert in India, first spotted on Google Earth by Carlo and Yohann Oetheimer, a father and son research team from France
Aerial view of giant spiral (Boha 1) and Boha 2, including the serpent figure in lower-right corner.

Often, the composition of a geoglyph cannot be fully realised at ground level. Only when one is high enough in the air can they discern the shapes. For this reason, the intricacies of the designs were not fully realised until aeroplanes were invented and the artwork was seen from the sky.

‘We will need to go to India in the near future in order to complete our research and have a precise dating, in order to understand their function and meaning better. For now, the dating is hypothetical,’ Carlo Oetheimer told MailOnline.