Apr 02, 2015 11:01 AM EDT
In 2003 a series of stone circles and other formations found in the Gobi Desert were discovered. Now, for over ten years, experts have been puzzled by what these structures were actually used for. It seems some new information has come to light in recent days regarding these ancient stone arrangements.
Made from stones and rocks not found in the Gobi Desert, the formations are simply called the "strange stone circles" by people who are local to the area around Turpan, China. According to the Daily Mail, the circles are made in various sizes, while one in particular resembles the sun.
These formations bear a striking resemblance to Stonehenge, and the mystery surrounding them is nearly as intricate as that of the druids. One expert believes that the rocks may have been used by nomads who took part in active worship of the sun. It has also been suggested that perhaps the stone circles are part of a ritualistic sacrifice site. What type of sacrifices might have taken place here is unknown.
Similar sites in the neighboring nation of Mongolia are believed by some experts to mark the way to the tomb of Ghengis Khan. There have been no bodies found at the sites so far, so it is not believed that they were used for burial. However, the possibility of being a sacrificial site is definitely a favorite among some experts.
Dr. Volker Heyd is an archaeologist at the University of Bristol, and he believes that the sites may be used as some type of marker.
"I have seen similar features in neighbouring Mongolia where they are well known too [and] they are regarded as ritual features. Some might have served as surface marking of burial places. At least in Mongolia, excavations have occasionally found graves in the centre of such features. Others, if not the majority might denote holy places in the landscape, or places with special spiritual properties, or ritual offering/meeting places."
According to the Huffington Post, although the sites were familiar to locals in the region around the Flaming Mountain in the Gobi Desert, they were unknown to archaeologists until 2003. Teams had begun to dig around the sites, hoping to find graves or some indication of what the sites were for. However, the Chinese government is attempting to stop the digging.
What were these ancient sites used for? Could they point the way to places like Ghengis Khan's tomb? Were they really sacrificial sites? Tell us what you think in the comment section below!
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