Archaeologists have discovered ‘gates of hell’ which are thousands of years old in an inhospitable part of Saudi Arabia.
The gates, of which there are hundreds, are situated around little domes of lava which don’t contain any vegetation or water.
Experts are uncertain as to the purpose behind the gates, considering there’s no discernible utility to having them situated where they are.
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The structures measure anywhere from 40 feet to 1,700 in length, and have withstood years and years of wear and tear, according to the New York Post.
David Kennedy, of the Western University of Australia, who led the research, said the structures were built on the lava fields while they were still active.
The gates are found almost exclusively in bleak, inhospitable lava fields with scant water or vegetation, places seemingly amongst the most unwelcoming to our species.
He added, the structures appear to be the oldest man-made structures in the region and they don’t have a clue as to why they were built.
The discovery was made using satellite imagery, which was utilised to identify nearly 400 of the gates in the region.
They were found with walls and other man-made structures including what seemed to be animal traps.
There were also wheel-shaped objects – though what they are is as yet not certain. It’s currently thought the structures were built around 9000 years ago.
At the moment, researchers are looking to mount a further expedition to the area to investigate and maybe find some clues as to why these structures even exist in the first place.
There have been a bunch of archaeological discoveries recently which are leaving scientists dumbfounded.
Last week, German archaeologists unearthed a set of fossilised teeth, which are 9.7 million years old and hold a great and ancient mystery.
Archaeologists found the fossilised dental remains in a former riverbed of the river Rhine – close to the town of Eppelsheim near Mainz – and soon realised there was something highly unusual going on.
The teeth didn’t really resemble anything we know about human history and the finds, with the closest similarities, are around 4 million years younger than those announced last week.
The mayor of Mainz, Michael Ebling, spoke out during a press conference about the magnitude of this new discovery:
I don’t want to over-dramatise it, but I would hypothesise that we shall have to start rewriting the history of mankind after today.
This new breakthrough could well challenge the current consensus on the ‘out of Africa’ theory, forcing scientists to reconsider our very origins.
Fossil evidence has long shown how great apes were living in Europe millions of years ago.
However, this could be the first confirmed case of hominins – a species which is closely related to modern humans – on the European continent.
A thorough examination of the teeth will be completed by the end of this month.
At this point, the teeth will be displayed at the Museum of Natural History in Mainz for ancient history buffs to wonder at.