Works of the Old Men

By the Editors of the Madain Project

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The "Works of the Old Men" refers to a large number of ancient stone-structures found across Middle East. The term comes from the local bedouin, who unaware of the origins of these enigmatic structures, named them "Works of the Old (or ancient) Men". These "works" are now known to be several thousand years old, extending from Syria to Yemen and probably number a million or more, making them far older and significantly more extensive than Peru’s Nazca Lines.

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The “old men” are what the local Bedouin call the ancient inhabitants of the area.

Online satellite images revealed 400 stone gates — thought to be used for trapping animals — and graves scattered across the lava fields known as Harrat Khaybar and Harrat Uwayrid.

These mysterious markings in the volcanic fields of Arabia, which come in shapes resembling cones, triangles, keyholes, kites, circles and even gates, have long baffled scientists. They were first discovered by Western explorers in the 1920s. Some of these giant rock formations stretch across volcano mountainsides, while others cover the flat ground between peaks.

Notable "Works"

Safawi Kite 104
It is one of the more substantial "kite" structures, with its head measuring some 200 meters across and three tailes ranging from 600-1300 meters. The structure has a very curious trapezoidal shaped inclusion on its south-eastern wall (centre, left). Tails’ (the radiating walls), extending some 3.7 km which stretch across a wadi (top right) before intersecting with a baffling succession of stone-built structures.

Safawi Kite 118

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