NASA has recently released images taken by the International Space Station crew of massive Neolithic earthworks that are found in modern-day Kazakhstan. 260 sites have been identified, of which form a variety of patterns, including a 900-foot square that is criss-crossed with an X, and a three-armed swastika that sports further curves on the ends of it’s arms.

Initially discovered in 2007 by archaeology enthusiast Dmitriy Dey, the mounds, estimated to be 8,000 years old, have upended archaeologists’ theories regarding what were supposed to be nomadic cultures in the region at that time.

“The idea that foragers could amass the numbers of people necessary to undertake large-scale projects — like creating the Kazakhstan geoglyphs — has caused archaeologists to deeply rethink the nature and timing of sophisticated large-scale human organization as one that predates settled and civilized societies,” comments Persis B. Clarkson, a University of Winnipeg archaeologist.

Dmitriy Dey is currently involved in efforts to set up a base of operations to study the mounds that make up the patterns, and plan to use drones to map the areas. However, they admit that time is not on their side: some of the mounds at what is called the Koga Cross have been destroyed, after construction crews built a road through the area. "And that was after we notified officials,” said Dey.

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