A lot of the things that archaeologists dig up out of the ground are fairly straightforward—we know what people did with arrowheads and pots. But occasionally, we’ll turn up something that leaves experts scratching their chins and wondering “What’s that all about?”
10. Middle Eastern Circles
You may well be familiar with the Nazca Lines in Peru, ancient geoglyphs only properly visible from above. Their popularity with ancient alien proponents is second only to Egypt’s pyramids. Yet there’s an older, more mysterious, and even more common version in the Middle East that gets a lot less attention.
The “Wheels” are circular stone structures built in the desert from Syria to Saudi Arabia. Believed to be at least 2,000 years old, the structures weren’t rediscovered until the 1920s, after we’d invented planes. An archaeologist working on the structures said that you can make out a vague pattern from the ground, but you must ascend to at least 30 meters (100 ft) to view the structures clearly.
The purpose of the structures is unclear. Some are clustered together, and others stand alone. Some of the circles seem to have spokes aligned with astronomical phenomena, while others are apparently random. They could be the remains of buildings or cemeteries, though the most common belief is that they had some sort of religious significance to the people that made them.