The mysterious "Nazca lines" in Peru that can only be "read" from the air (despite the fact that they were made by an early culture without access to aircraft) can be seen in the Middle East as well. They stretch from Syria to Saudi Arabia, can be seen from the air but not the ground, and are almost unknown to the public.
In LiveScience.com, Owen Jarus quotes historian David Kennedy as saying, "In Jordan alone we've got stone-built structures that are far more numerous than (the) Nazca Lines, far more extensive in the area that they cover, and far older." Instead of the animals depicted in the Peruvian "lines," these are stone structures resembling "wheels" with "spokes," despite the fact that they were created at least 2,000 years ago.
Kennedy first learned about the lines from accounts of Royal Air Force pilots flying over them in the 1920s on airmail routes across Jordan. Jarus quotes RAF Flight Lt. Percy Maitland, who published an account of the "wheels" in 1927, as saying that they were known to the Bedouin as the "works of the old men." Kennedy says, "Sometimes when you're actually there on the site you can make out something of a pattern but not very easily, whereas if you go up just a hundred feet or so it, for me, comes sharply into focus what the shape is."
He thinks the designs must have been clearer when they were originally built (but) "people have probably walked over them, walked past them, for centuries, millennia, without having any clear idea what the shape was." As with the Peruvian lines, no one knows why they were made, although some researchers think the Peruvian lines may have indicated places where water could be found underground. This may be true in the Middle East as well: hundreds of them can be found clustered together near the Azrag Oasis.
At unknowncountry.com, we love solving mysteries (NOTE: subscribers can still listen to this show). If you love mysteries too, make sure we'll still be here to bring you more of them tomorrow (and the only way to do that is to subscribe today!)