7000 Year Old Rectangular Stone Walls up to 600 Meters Length in Saudi Arabia

Researchers have dated and studied 104 mustatil stone structures from the southern margins of the Nefud Desert in northern Arabia. Lead author is Huw S Groucutt of the Max Planck Institute in Germany.

Monumental landscapes of the Holocene humid period in Northern Arabia: The mustatil phenomenon, Holocene Journal, Huw S Groucutt, Paul S Breeze, Maria Guagnin, …,August 17, 2020.

This is a study of pre-history which is before people created written records.

Above are examples of groups of mustatils in the southern Nefud. They appear as faint rectangular shapes that are up to 30 meters by 600 meters. The large mustatil is the largest such structure recorded anywhere in Arabia. The southwestern end of this mustatil has been re-used to build both a keyhole and a pendant, among other structures. They appear to be stacked stones made into a walls.

There are hundreds of these low stone wall structures. They range in length from 15 meters to over 600 meters.

Some of the stones have diamond-shaped patterns on them.

A recently published stone platform from Dûmat al-Jandal dates to the sixth millennium BC (8000 years ago) and might have been used for funeral ceremonies.

Munoz, O., Cotty, M., Charloux, G., Bouchaud, C., Monchot, H., Marquaire, C., . . . Al-Malki, T. (2020). Marking the sacral landscape of a north Arabian oasis: A sixth-millennium BC monumental stone platform and surrounding burials. Antiquity, 94(375), 601-621. doi:10.15184/aqy.2020.81

There was carbon dating of stone desert kite structure in Jordan. It is dated at 8000BC (10,000 years ago)

al Khasawneh, S., Murray, A., Thomsen, K. et al. Dating a near eastern desert hunting trap (kite) using rock surface luminescence dating. Archaeol Anthropol Sci 11, 2109–2119 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12520-018-0661-3

SOURCES- Holocene, Archeology
Written By Brian Wang, Nextbigfuture.com

55 thoughts on “7000 Year Old Rectangular Stone Walls up to 600 Meters Length in Saudi Arabia”

  1. No different? Well, current humans are likely stupider, weaker and less healthy than humans from 7000 years ago.
    Civlization is like a toxin to genetic health. All those group efforts to save dumb and the weak and allow them to spread their genes has its consequences.
    Especially nowadays when modern medicine especially effective at saving those people from their lack of intellectual capability and physical defects.

    If we go on like this I wonder what sort of wretches human will become in a few centuries. Science and technology won't compensate for this indefinitely.
    Unless we take upon ourselves to improve our genes, which is morbidly and extremely opposed by the majority of people…

  2. That doesn't prove fast rate of evolution. Some traits spread quickly because their heightened usefulness. Since the alternative to milk tolerance was starving to death in many cases, it naturally spread very quickly.

    On the other hand dark skin is not that lethal.

  3. You are right. Monarchy is something we all nearly instinctively understand (a tribe has a tribe chieftain), and it avoids the problem of making us think about cold philosophical concepts of future politics.

    E-voting, telepathic Gestalt-mind consensus, what's that? we need Empires with kings and queens for our space opera books.

    Besides they provide plenty of opportunities for family drama, something we all understand too, and that we can expect to remain part of humanity forever. Hence both concepts are very used, to produce appealing literature.

    Even some apparently advanced concepts are monarchies in disguise, like the Minds from The Culture novels. They are basically the gods/kings of their particular ships and Orbitals, providing everything to their happy subjects.

    Albeit here, the prince/princess plots were much harder to frame and justify.

  4. There is one aspect that people do differently. So many futuristic multi-star-system civilisations, are depicted as monarchies. And simple, north-west European style primogeniture monarchies too.

    Why? I read an essay that tried to answer this, and I had further thoughts myself, and came up with a bunch of reasons.
    1.. Monarchies are exotic. Rather than having to do actual work and depict your alien/future society as exotic, just chuck in a monarchy. No effort required because your audience already knows what a monarchy is, but (except for a tiny fraction living in the middle east) the audience lives in democracies and so monarchy is exotic.
    1.1. This is why they go for simple primogeniture monarchies. No work required. If you have a Holy Roman Empire style election of the emperor by hereditary electors… you now have to explain how this all works to the audience.
    2.. You actually get an excuse for why the young, beautiful, attractive heroes and heroines are actually important to the story of a space empire. The leader of a democratic movement to oppose an evil empire will look like Winston Churchill. But if the young girl is a Princess then her being in charge makes sense (to the audience at least). An orphaned moisture farmer from Tattoonie? Who cares? But if he turns out to be the son of a Queen, hence a Prince? That we can work with.
    2.1. And now, the love life of the young hero is actually important too. Romance matters in hereditary politics.

  5. The Star Wars example is simple zeerust. Technology and science becoming obsolete but that still remains depicted in sci/fi forever.

    The funny anachronism of mores and behavior is another example, but due to other cause: I think most people is scared that whatever values and institutions we hold dear won't be so valuable for others in the future.

    Reminds us of the relativity of our own values and ideals. Any work that challenge their solidity feels alienating and too unrelatable to be a commercial success.

    This applies for any values, including our modern moral relativity.

    That's why I think modern ideologues are so concerned with occupying all of sci/fi: they want to make the possibility of their values going out of fashion simply unthinkable. So far with success, but fruitlessly in the long term, I think.

  6. Ooooh, mocking Christians. So edgy. Maybe Christians need to start livestreaming beheadings on Facebook or turning teenage girls into warm bloody chunks of meat at pop concerts to get some respect.

  7. What's really amusing is when science fiction depicts future societies as future versions of the 1950s or 1960s. So that half a century later there are some hilarious anachronisms when we read/watch the result.

    I'm reminded of some 1950s SF where the spaceship guys had to create an abacus to calculate their burns because some comet or something meant they couldn't communicate back to earth, where the big, radio valve, mainframe, computers were that supposed to do the calcs.

    Or even Star Wars, where the close in weapons systems needed a human to aim the guns. Something actual military were abandoning at about the time the movies were made.

  8. If you are not under 12, you are acting like it. "Rights" were never part of this, and I was never "Hot and Bothered". Go back to eating your Cocoa Puffs.

  9. Relax. He's just having a bit of fun. No need to get all hot and bothered. Besides, it's called free speech. He has the right to mock anyone he wants.

  10. Actually, Chinese historians frequently talk about the cyclic nature of imperial dynasties. They rise and fall. Broadly speaking, all cultures tend to wax and wane. They experience periods of expansion and contraction. Some collapse into extinction. The Bronze Age collapse is a good example. Same for the Mayans. The Roman Empire is another. The Soviet Union as well. Human cultures tend to expand beyond their resource bases. Collapse then is inevitable.

  11. The issue wasn't the piling of stones as much as the size of the stones. Most people make the honest mistake of thinking these 60 tons stones at Stonehenge could not be moved by anything other than heavy equipment.


    Wally Wallington, unlike most people, understands the power of mechanical advantage. He's done more to debunk the claim that the giant stone monoliths were built by ancient astronaut than any of the professional skeptics ever did.

  12. It troubles me how easily people will jeer and sneer at others
    unprovoked. One also hurts the cause of science by this sort of thing.
    Would you be mocking Budhists or Hindus if they thought that? 
    I don’t think that the World is 6,024 years old, nor am I a “fundamentalist”. And fundamentalists don’t necessarily believe that either. The 4004 B.C. number, which is often quoted, was conjured up by a Catholic in the 1600s and has nothing to do with “fundamentalists”: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Ussher
    That is just one of many such “calculations” or estimates, given by “experts” mostly hundreds of years ago: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chronology_of_the_Bible
    Other world views have done the same: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dating_creation
    The Biblical stories have an undeniable relationship with the Sumerian stories. When you do the math with their kings lists you get a number 270,229 years ago…but not to “creation” but to man coming “down from heaven” to Earth. That kings list has a lot of very rounded numbers. The first 6 kings were given in sars units of 3,600. And the next 2 in sars and ners units of 600. 
    Pure coincidence, I’ll grant, but the earliest modern human found has been dated at “286±32 ka for the Irhoud 3 mandible” 254,000-318,000 years ago https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jebel_Irhoud
    It is a fun coincidence though.

  13. The walls can’t be 7000 years old or more. The crazy American fundamentalist Christians believe the earth is only 6000 and something years old. Morons.

  14. Most of the difference between recent humans is epigenetic, selecting between already existing possibilities. This is true of Neandert(h)al v *us*, for example.

  15. Yes, 140,000 for *us* anatomically. The 7,000 is for writing only, purely cultural (extreme large insane systems). Language (perhaps Hyoid change), with “when” and “where” about 70,000 led to the big move out of Africa, killing all in our path. Tribes rather than clans. Oral history rather than learned ritual. All uniquely human.

  16. The anatomically modern humans were here for at least 40 000 years. We don’t know if there was a significant mental change, but for sure there is no much of a difference between different groups who spread all over the globe. Australia was settled at least 50K years ago. And the aboriginal people are not that different from the Europeans. So 7 000 years is safe to assume to have a minor difference , at lest form mental capacity POV. The differences mostly cultural.

  17. @CyanCoffee we are living in a bad spot in human history ,were we became an overgrown virus raping and ravaging his substrate ( earth ) , and completely exchanged technology & progress with meanings of life .We’re also ( very likely and statistically ) on the very top cusp of a drastic reduction or start of extinction depending on time scale

  18. Yep. Being able to ingest slightly spoiled fruits and plants (without falling unconscious or becoming ill) is such a common scenario on planet Earth, as to be an evolutionary advantage.

  19. ‘Cyclic’ seems rather inaccurate. There have been setbacks in civilization, but nothing approaching a periodic pattern. A semi-random saw tooth on an overall rise, seems more accurate.

  20. Competition is fine as a motivation, but cannot take credit for invention. The ‘west’ is ascendant since the embrace of the scientific method, and publication of the resulting scientific knowledge.

  21. Actually the way this comment thread is going, the theory seems to be that if someone can pile two stones on top of one another, then they must have had interstellar flight.

  22. Short term competition IS collaboration over the span of decades.
    Company A makes a widget. Person B modifies the design and makes a superwidget. Group C increases the linkage to the turboencabulator, thus making the superwidget twice as efficient. Company A sees that the basic physical concept of the turboencabulated superwidget could be achieved by inverting the rotoscope and using a conductive matrix, thus avoiding both other patents and making it cheaper too.

    At an immediate, short term level they are competing, trying to outdo the competitors, keeping secrets, not helping each other at all.
    BUT over the longer term they are exchanging information and building on each other’s ideas.

  23. Apes have it. We have the same tolerance genes. You’re talking about degree; we all have the underlying genetics.

  24. Why is everything built over 3000 years ago supposed to be of religious significance?

    “Why in the world would anyone build such a long skinny structure?”
    “I guess they could walk along inside it…so why would they? Maybe for a ceremony? Ah! That’s it – it’s for funeral processions!”
    “Ok, then what about these little shorter ones?”
    “Probably for less important people.”
    “Well then why did they have several of them close to each other?”
    “Oh, well what if they had to have two funerals at the same time? Schedule-conflict resolution, no doubt. Mystery solved, let’s move on.”

    How about it was for some sort of race or other sport?
    Maybe a way to channel water from a long-dried-up well or spring through a long garden?

  25. Are you sure it’s collaboration rather than competition? An awful lot of stuff gets invented when there’s incentive for so doing. I’m thinking that the pace of modern invention is flogged by the economic system that allows it to happen. The west has been ascendant since the advent of modern capitalism. This is a better explanation than “because white people” or “because chosen by god” or so on. As the Chinese and Indians adopt systems that encourage innovation/competition then the sheer number of inventors should likely swamp the western world.

  26. sometime before Homo heidelbergensis. So more than 790k years ago.

    EDIT: New info since I last researched this. Also homo antecessor so more than 1.2 million years

  27. No different than modern man?
    Strongly disagree, evolution is surprisingly faster than that, for instance, European milk tolerance evolved around 4300 years ago, it’s increased tolerance to alcohol while hard to determine, is considered to be evolved later than milk and 7000 years ago Europe was still evolving towards pale skin.

  28. “The power of the mind and its cultural artifacts it’s kind of magical” Actually, the human mind is a response to *culture* (The System) and so coevolves with it. 7 million for this process to go from chimp/bonobo whatever to now. About 140,000 ago for *us*, but 70,000 ago for language, and thus total insanity. Writing 7,000 ago made for extreme large insane systems. Now that repression, the mechanism for all of this, unique to humans in its *living* form, is understood, it MUST be destroyed. See Janov for details.

  29. It’s gotta be them. It has been scientifically proven that people in the past were unable to so much as pile two stones on top of one another without extraterrestrial help.

    What did they call them? Annunaki? I’m sure I saw an Uncyclopedia article on them…

  30. The rate of progress is determined by the hours of brain-time available for solving problems times the ability collaborate with people working on similar problems.

    As billions more people emerge from poverty and have time to think and collaborate, the pace of innovation will further accelerate.

  31. When was the transformation to a 23 chromosome human? 2-300,000 years ago? How many civilizations have come, gone, transitioned since then?

  32. And the big mistake of assuming your own civilization is special and will last forever.

    There is nothing perennial about any human group, or about our own particular mores and beliefs.

    And this can happen even as one generations grows old and dies, being replaced by another.

    If the new generation Group Think actively rejects the old ideals and values (process which is nowadays aided by technological means), they will soon be replaced beyond recognition.

    This is something that science fiction often fails to portray, depicting future societies as future versions of our own but with more gadgets.

  33. It boggles the minds to think that we, as a species, have existed for at least several hundreds of thousands of years. Probably more than a million years.

    Hundreds of thousands of years of people just like us, living their lives, their stories, happiness and particular tragedies.

    People that were only different from us by the thin information layer in their brains and that they passed to their own kids.

    Something so frail, unsubstantial, but that allow us to now be thinking about the deepness of the unknown future and the cosmos, dreaming of life between the stars, dreaming of creating new intelligence, of living forever.

    The power of the mind and its cultural artifacts it’s kind of magical, if we reflect a bit about it.

  34. We are in a special age of many S-curves.

    A few are slowly ramping up, others quickly and a bit more are already back into the slowly growing phase.

    Of course, the S-curve model is a bit of a simplification too, only related to a single way to do things.

    Space launchers for example, had a frenzy of advance in the 50s and 60s, slowing down and advancing very little for several decades, until the idea of COTS arrived and produced some companies with new ideas, and further advances.

    In those cases, the technology undergoing rapid advance wouldn’t be just the space launchers tech, but our technology for organizing ourselves to produce the desired products and results. Something that is often more important than the particular pieces of technology allowing the technical capability.

    The instruments, maths and stone cutting technologies allowed to physically build the pyramids, but the social organization of Egypt is the one that afforded/allowed them to happen.

    As long as we don’t lose what we gained with those S-curves, we’ll be fine. Destruction of knowledge is always an immeasurable tragedy. And one that has happened very often across our history, unfortunately.

    The flowers of knowledge were often the first to burn in the pyres of famine, disease and war.

  35. One of the biggest crimes of the dogma science is the ignoring of evidence of the cyclical nature of civilization and incorporation of this evidence whenever possible to a faulty pre determined timeline leading to our civilization or simply staying silent about it under a cover of whatever doesn’t fit the timeline is probably some sort of an error that should be dismissed for one reason or another.




  36. I always find things like this very interesting. 7000 years ago, people no different form modern man built these structures and they were probably at the forefront of technology for them at the time. Fast forward to the 1800s and the level of technological improvement is not super impressive. Go forward 100 years to 1900 and things are starting to get interesting but go forward another 100 years to now and we seem to have jumped significantly ahead in tech and knowledge. Will the pace of technological improvement continue to accelerate or are we living in a sweet spot in human history? Just very interesting. THanks for sharing.

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