Armenia – The Ancient “Desert Snake” Structures

Armenia – The Ancient "Desert Snake"

The unique structures “desert snakes” found in the territory of Armenia are thousands of years old. More ancient than the pyramids of Egypt, they can change the generally recognized history of world civilization.

Armenian archaeologists have been seriously studying the unique structures, these “desert snakes” found in the territory of Armenia. Some of these structures resembling geometric figures date to the Neolithic (12th-6th millennia BC).

Archaeologist Mariam Shahmuradian together with a group of four specialists is planning to start explorations in the village of Aragatsavan, Aragatsotn region, in October this year. Archaeologists are going to reveal the dating of the “desert snakes” and the agglomeration houses found in this territory.

“Desert snakes and agglomeration houses are built of raw stone. They are mainly located at an altitude of 900-1400 meters on the slopes of the mountains,” said Shahmuradian.

The archaeologist does not exclude that such structures, the area of which varies from 1-30 hectares, used to be in plain areas as well. If they were, then they were most likely destroyed due to anthropogenic factors. There are suggestions that many such structures can be not only in Armavir and Aragatsotn regions but also in Syunik.

“We are going to carry out explorations in Syunik in order to find these structures,” said the archaeologist.

The first “desert snakes” were discovered in the 1920s by pilots of the Royal Air Force. The images on top resemble a kite, hence their original name “kite.” Later, this structure was renamed a “desert snake.”

“Desert snakes” have also been found in the territory of Jordan, Syria, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Iraq. According to the accepted version, they were made for hunting purposes, but Shahmuradian believes that they could have had a cult significance.

“We will be able to make conclusions only after we examine the structures. Then, we will understand how they were actually called and for what purpose they were built,” said Shahmuradian.

She stressed that another interesting fact is connected with the structures – agglomeration houses have always been found near the “desert snakes”. The reason for this is still unclear.

More recently, smaller, V-shaped structures have also been found in the territory of Armenia. They consist of two low stone walls of varying thickness and height, which start far apart and gradually come closer. Archaeologists cannot yet say what they were built for. Again, they assume that they were for hunting.

“For a hundred years, no one has been able to unravel this mystery, just like with the Egyptian pyramids. There are a number of versions and hypotheses that have yet to be proved,” Shahmuradian said.

She emphasized that these structures are very important for Armenia.

Systematic studies of “desert snakes” began in Armenia in 2011. They are carried out by Armenian archeologists and geologists together with their French and Israeli colleagues. The archaeologists are trying to understand the functional value and determine the age of the monuments. Since September, an Armenian-Jewish group of archaeologists will investigate the “desert snakes” as well. Laura Sargsyan

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