In Photos: Mysterious Stone Structures in Saudi Arabia
By Owen Jarus October 17, 2017
About 400 mysterious stone structures which archaeologists call “gates,” based off of their loose resemblance to “old fashioned field gates,” have been discovered in Saudi Arabia. Made of low stone walls that are sometimes built in a rectangular shape the purpose and exact date of the gates are unknown although researchers believe that they date back thousands of years. This picture shows several gates found clustered together. The “gate” at bottom right is about 1200 feet long. To put this in comparison an NFL football field is 360 feet long.
The gates come in a number of different shapes and sizes. Some of the gates, which archaeologists call “I-type” gates, contain one wall with heaps of rock at the ends of the wall. Two I-type gates, built side by side, can be seen in this picture along with other gates.
Another cluster of gates. The longest gate in this picture is about 950 feet. Why the gates cluster together is unknown. The gates tend to be located in lavafields that are inhospitable for human life. However thousands of years ago these areas would have been wetter and contained more life.
Other types of stone structures have also been found in Saudi Arabia. Often these stone structures are built on top of or even inside gates. This suggests that the gates are older than the other stone structures. This picture shows a gate that has a triangle stone structure with heaps of stone that lead to a bullseye shaped stone structure (possibly a tomb).
This picture of the lava dome that has gates on it was taken in the 1980s by Vic Camp. The taller lava dome behind it is called “Jabal Abyad” a name which means “white mountain” in Arabic. The lava domes are no longer active although in the past basalt lava poured from them.
A few gates were found on the slopes of a lava dome. This lava dome, and others in the region, were mapped by volcanologists Vic Camp and John Roobol in the 1980s. The volcanologists were mapping the “Harret Khaybar” region of Saudi Arabia where many gates are located.