These newly discovered largest human made designs are of such immense scale that they could probably never be fully glimpsed by those who made them, the researchers say.
The huge motifs are examples of geoglyphs – giant hand-made representations and patterns built or carved into the ground, often occupying such a reach that the true appearance of their forms can only be appreciated from the air.
Hidden in the vast and arid expanses of India’s Thar Desert are mysterious ancient drawings carved into the ground.
Among all known geoglyphs of historical significance — including Peru’s famous Nazca Lines — the largest human made designs Thar Desert formations appear to be the largest graphic representations ever designed by humans.
“So far, these geoglyphs, the largest discovered worldwide and for the first time on the Indian subcontinent, are also unique in terms of their enigmatic signs,” the researchers explain in a news article detailing the find.
Discovered by a pair of independent researchers from France, Carlo and Yohann Oetheimer, the new geoglyphs were detected using Google Earth, during a virtual study of the Thar Desert region (also known as the Great Indian Desert); This region encompasses about 200,000 square kilometers (approximately 77,000 square miles) of territory that overlaps India and Pakistan.
In the midst of this vast, dry landscape, the Oetheimers identified several sites located around the “Golden City” of Jaisalmer, marked by geometric lines that resemble geoglyphs.
A closer inspection during a field study in 2016, using an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), revealed that some of the identified sites were furrows dug for tree plantations, but also helped reveal a group of seemingly enigmatic line formations. devoid of trees.
In particular, two exceptional “remarkable geometric figures” stood out near the village of Boha: a giant spiral and a serpentine pattern, each connected by a group of sinuous lines.
The lines that make up these figures are stripes etched into the ground, ranging up to 10 centimeters deep (4 inches) and extending from 20 to 50 cm wide (8-20 inches). While these dimensions up close may not be noticeable, what they end up creating is not.
The largest identified geoglyph, the giant asymmetric spiral (called Boha 1), is made of a single looped line that spans 12 kilometers (7.5 miles), over an area 724 meters long by 201 meters wide (790 meters). by 220 yards).
To the southwest of this huge vortex shape rests a serpentine geoglyph (Boha 2), composed of a line 11 kilometers long, encompassing a serpentine figure, a smaller spiral, and a long sequence of running boustrofedon-style lines backwards and forwards.
Other small geoglyphs can also be found in the Boha region (including a meandering lines feature, called Boha 3), which in total includes around 30 miles of lines still visible today, which the researchers estimate were once extended. for about 80 kilometers.
“The giant spiral and the serpentine figure are definitely the main points of interest, closely related to Boha 3, suggesting that all the other geoglyphs were created as a framework for this ensemble,” the article reads. “Due to their spatial contiguity, patterns 1, 2 and 3 can be perceived as a sequential project.”
What this project represents, and who created it, is not completely clear yet, but the researchers suggest that the formations are not ancient geoglyphs but relatively recent, perhaps at least 150 years old; They may also be contemporary with Hindu memorial stones found in the area.
Without definitively knowing more about the identity of their creators, it is difficult to speculate on the function and meaning of these giant geoglyphs, but researchers nonetheless have some ideas.
Given that the region is flat, and the creators of these structures would not have been able to assimilate their creations (which would have required being about 300 meters high), the authors say that it is unlikely that these designs were conceived as a form of expression. contemplated from the ground, but could have served as a kind of unknown cultural practice in its elaboration.
“This invites us to consider religious, astronomical and / or cosmological meanings,” they argue. “Due to their uniqueness, we can speculate that they might represent a commemoration of a locally observed exceptional celestial event.”
While we still don’t know much about these mysterious markings and their semantic relationship to each other, the researchers say the strange motifs are notable for their unmatched size in particular, but also for their design and implementation, which would have involved knowledge of mathematics and planimetry to achieve it.
It will be up to future research to follow these largest human made designs, but the Oetheimers hope that, for now, the publication of their study will influence Indian authorities to protect the heritage of these mysterious lines, before they are further disturbed and concealed by human activity.
After all, whatever they are, they seem to be quite special.
“After extensive research, we consider the Boha geoglyphs to be the largest organically grouped and abstract man-made geometric figures discovered so far,” the researchers conclude.
“We remain convinced that these unique geoglyphs are closely related to their geographic and cultural context, and possibly contain a universal message linked to the Sacred and the cosmos.”
The finding of the largest human made designs are reported in Archaeological Research in Asia.
Source: ScienceAlert .