NASA helps investigate mysterious, 8,000-year-old earthworks

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Nov 8, 2015, 6:52 PM EST (Updated)

After they were spotted in 2007 by amateur archaeologist Dmitriy Dey, NASA has now kicked in to help explore some ancient earthworks in Kazakhstan. 

As The New York Times reports, satellite images from Google Earth spotted some bizarre, massive earthworks that measure several football fields in size. Score one for the hobbyists! The earthworks include geometric figures of squares, crosses, lines and rings. The largest feature is a gigantic square of 101 raised mounds, and other items include a design that resembles a three-limbed swastika.

It’s amazing to think something this massive has gone largely undiscovered and unstudied, which is where NASA stepped in to take and release some high-res satellite photographs of the features from 430 miles in the air. Dey posits the ambitious series of earthworks may have been designed as “horizontal observatories to track the movements of the rising sun.” NASA is reportedly moving forward with plans to help map the entire region.

Dey is helping lead the investigation into the earthworks, and has since connected the features to a nearby Neolithic settlement that dates to 6,000 to 10,000 years old. Here’s hoping researchers can continue to put the pieces together.

Check out a few of the aerial shots above, and below.

(Via The New York Times)

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