In Photos: Google Earth Reveals Sprawling Geoglyphs in Kazakhstan

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In Photos: Google Earth Reveals Sprawling Geoglyphs in Kazakhstan

Ring-shaped geoglyph

Credit: Image copyright DigitalGlobe, courtesy Google Earth
This geoglyph is in the shape of a ring. While the geoglyphs are often difficult to see on the ground in northern Kazakhstan, they can be seen clearlyfrom the sky and were detected using Google Earth imagery. [Read full story]

Cross-shaped geoglyph

Credit: Image copyright DigitalGlobe, courtesy Google Earth
This geoglyph is in the shape of a cross. The geoglyphs in northern Kazakhstan range between 90 meters 400 meters (295 feet and 1,312 feet) in diameter. [Read full story]

Box-shaped geoglyph

Credit: Photo courtesy Irina Shevnina and Andrew Logvin
This geoglyph is in the shape of a box with an X running through it. The researchers are conducting a program of aerial photography, excavation, dating and ground-penetrating radar to learn more about the geoglyphs. The excavations unearthed the remains of structures and hearths at the geoglyphs, suggesting rituals took place there. Another idea is that ancient tribes may have used the geoglyphs to mark ownership of the land. [Read full story]

Multiple geoglyphs

Credit: Image copyright DigitalGlobe, courtesy Google Earth
This image shows a geoglyph that looks like a line. There is also a ring located nearby. [Read full story]

Large geoglyphs

Credit: Image in public domain, courtesy US Navy
The geoglyphs are as long as 400 meters (1,312 feet) in diameter. To put this in perspective the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise, pictured here, is only342 meters (1,122 feet) in length. [Read full story]

Many countries have geoglyphs

Credit: Image copyright DigitalGlobe, courtesy Google Earth
Kazakhstan is one of a growing list of countries that have geoglyphs. Structures like these have been discovered in Peru, Brazil, the United Kingdom, Jordan, Syria, Russia and the United States among other countries. The introduction of high-resolution Google Earth imagery in the past decade has allowed both professional archaeologists and amateurs to study these enigmatic structures in greater depth. This image shows a close-up of the swastika geoglyph from Kazakhstan. [Read full story]

Stone Wheels

Credit: David D. Boyer APAAME_20080925_DDB-0237
For instance, archaeologists have discovered such “Nazca Lines” called “wheels” in the Middle East. These stone structures show a variety of designs, with a common one being a circle with spokes radiating inside. Here, a cluster of wheels in the Azraq Oasis. Researchers think the wheels were created at least 2,000 years ago. [Read more about the wheel structures]

Russian Geoglyph

Credit: Image copyright 2012 Geoeye, copyright 2012 GIS Innovatsia, courtesy Google Earth.
An animal-shaped stone structure that may predate Peru’s Nazca Lines was discovered in Russia, near Lake Zjuratkul in the Ural Mountains, north of Kazakhstan. The sprawling “elk,” which extends some 900 feet (275 meters) at its farthest points, excluding a possible tail, was discovered using Google Earth (shown here in a 2007 image). [Read more about the Russian Nazca Lines]
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