Over 50 ancient geoglyphs, including swastika, discovered in Kazakhstan

Over 50 ancient geoglyphs, including swastika, discovered in Kazakhstan

Archaeologists are calling them the Nazca lines of Kazakhstan – more than 50 giant geoglyphs formed with earthen mounds and timber found stretched across the landscape in northern Kazakhstan. They are designed in a variety of geometric shapes, including crosses, squares, rings, and even a swastika, an ancient symbol that has been in use for at least 12,000 years.

According to Live Science , the geoglyphs, which are very difficult to see on the ground, were first spotted on Google Earth. Since then, a team of archaeologists from Kostanay University in Kazakhstan and Vilnius University in Lithuania, have investigated the giant structures using aerial photography and ground-penetrating radar.

Their results revealed a wide variety of shapes ranging from 90 to 400 metres in diameter, mostly made of earthen mounds, but one – the swastika – was made using timber. Researchers have not yet dated the structures but their characteristics suggest they are around 2,000 years old.

"As of today, we can say only one thing — the geoglyphs were built by ancient people. By whom and for what purpose, remains a mystery," said archaeologists Irina Shevnina and Andrew Logvin, of Kostanay University, in an email to Live Science.

Some of the geoglyphs found in northern Kazakhstan. Credit: Image copyright DigitalGlobe, courtesy Google Earth

The swastika is an ancient symbol found throughout Europe and Asia. The word ‘swastika’ is a Sanskrit word (‘svasktika’) meaning ‘It is’, ‘Well Being’, ‘Good Existence, and ‘Good Luck’. However, it is also known by different names in different countries - like ‘Wan’ in China, ‘Manji’ in Japan, ‘Fylfot’ in England, ‘Hakenkreuz’ in Germany and ‘Tetraskelion’ or ‘Tetragammadion’ in Greece. A Sanskrit scholar P. R. Sarkar in 1979 said that the deeper meaning of the word is ‘Permanent Victory’. He also said that as any symbol it can have positive and negative meaning depending on how it is drawn. So in Hinduism, the right-hand swastika is a symbol of the God Vishnu and the Sun, while the left-hand swastika is a symbol of Kali and Magic. The double meaning of symbols is common in ancient traditions, like for example the symbol of the pentagram (five pointed star), which is viewed as negative when pointing downwards, and positive when pointing upwards.

It is not the first time that a geoglyph of a swastika has been found. They have also been discovered in Jordan and New Mexico, and geoglyphs of all kinds have been identified in numerous countries around the world constructed by different cultures, including the United Kingdom, Brazil and even the Southwestern United States.

Geoglyph of a swastika found in Jordan. Image source .

Despite a plethora of research on these amazing creations around the world, the purpose of the geoglyphs continues to elude researchers and remains a matter of conjecture. Some scientists believe they are linked to the heavens with some representing constellations in the night sky. Other experts believe that the lines played a role in pilgrimage, with one walking across them to reach a sacred place. Yet another idea is that the lines are connected with water, something vital to life yet hard to get in the desert, and may have played a part in water-based rituals. Archaeological excavations at the Kazakhstan geoglyphs revealed the remains of structures and hearths, suggesting that rituals took place there.

Featured image: More than 50 geoglyphs have been discovered in northern Kazakhstan. Many of them are made of earthen mounds (although timber was used to make this swastika). Credit: Image copyright DigitalGlobe, courtesy Google Earth


    Nazca Lines: 50 Ancient Geoglyphs including Giant Swastikas Discovered in Kazakhstan

    Over 50 geoglyphs have been discovered across the northern steppe of Kazakhstan, deepening the mystery of why the ancient patterns were created.

    Using Google Earth, archaeologists found the geoglyphs - man-made outlines on the ground made from mounds or ditches that are visible from above - in a variety of shapes, including squares, rings and swastikas.

    Often attributed to the sun, the swastika was used among the ancient Celts, Indians and Greeks, and later in Buddhism, Jainism and Hinduism. In Asia, the symbol first appears in archaeological records around 2,500 BC in the Indus Valley Civilisation.

    "As of today, we can say only one thing – the geoglyphs were built by ancient people," archaeologists Irina Shevnina and Andrew Logvin, who discovered the Kazakh geoglyphs, told Live Science.

    They added that other structures and evidence of fireplaces within the geoglyphs suggest rituals took place there.

    Experts have compared the findings in Kazakhstan to the famous Nazca Lines in Peru, which were designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994.

    A giant geoglyph of an elk was discovered in the Ural Mountains in Russia in 2012 Google Earth

    Although some of the Peruvian geoglyphs resemble Paracas motifs, an Andean society that lived between 800 and 100 BCE, scholars believe they were created by the Nazca culture between 400 and 650 AD.

    In the past year, researchers from Kostanay University and Vilnius University in Lithuania have been conducting archaeological excavations, aerial photography and ground-penetrating radar surveys to examine the geoglyphs in Kazakhstan.

    The symbols vary in shapes and size. One swastika was made from timber, although the majority of the geoglyphs were made using mounds of earth.

    One of the largest measures 1,312ft in diameter, suggesting it was created by a larger, well-established culture, the researchers said.

    Ancient tribes may have used the geoglyphs to mark ownership of the land, but the reason behind the creation of the patterns remains unknown.

    Central Asia is pockmarked with other mysterious ancient constructions called kurgans, mounds heaped over a burial chamber. Found across Kazakhstan, Mongolia and Poland, the earliest kurgans appeared in the 4<sup>th millennium BC in the Caucasus and are associated with the Indo-Europeans.

    Geoglyphs and similar patterns have been discovered across the world, including in Britain, thanks to the introduction of Google Earth. In 2012, a giant elk-shaped geoglyph was discovered near Lake Zjuratkul in the Ural Mountains in Russia.

    The Kazakh geoglyphs were presented at the European Association of Archaeologists' annual meeting in Istanbul.


    Nazca lines of Kazakhstan: More than 50 geoglyphs discovered

    Discovered using Google Earth, the geoglyphs are designed in a variety of geometric shapes, including squares, rings, crosses and swastikas (the swastika is a design that was used in ancient times). Ranging from 295 to 1,312 feet in diameter, some of them are longer than a modern-day aircraft carrier. Researchers say that the geoglyphs are difficult to see on the ground, but can easily be seen from the sky. [See Photos of the Amazing Geoglyphs in Kazakhstan]

    Over the past year, an archaeological expedition from Kazakhstan’s Kostanay University, working in collaboration with Vilnius University in Lithuania, has been examining the geoglyphs. The team, which is conducting archaeological excavations, ground-penetrating radar surveys, aerial photography and dating, recently presented its initial results at the European Association of Archaeologists’ annual meeting in Istanbul.

    Many of the geoglyphs were made of earthen mounds, although one example, a swastika, was made using timber.

    Archaeological excavations uncovered the remains of structures and hearths at the geoglyphs, suggesting that rituals took place there, said archaeologists Irina Shevnina and Andrew Logvin, of Kostanay University, in an email to Live Science. Ancient tribes may also have used the geoglyphs to mark ownership of the land, the researchers noted.

    “As of today, we can say only one thing the geoglyphs were built by ancient people. By whom and for what purpose, remains a mystery,” said Shevnina and Logvin.

    Why they’re builders used geometric shapes is also a mystery, although the swastika is an ancient symbol found throughout Europe and Asia.

    Geoglyphs around the world

    While Peru’s Nazca Lines are the world’s most famous geoglyphs, archaeological research suggests that geoglyphs were constructed in numerous areas around the world by different cultures.

    For instance, in the Middle East, archaeologists have found thousands of wheel-shaped structures that are easily visible from the sky, but hard to see on the ground. Also recently in Russia, archaeologists excavated a geoglyph shaped like an elk, which appears older than the Nazca Lines.

    Ancient geoglyphs have also been reported in many other countries, including the United Kingdom, Brazil and even the Southwestern United States. The introduction of high-resolution Google Earth imagery over the last decade has helped both professional archaeologists and amateurs detect and study these enigmatic structures.


    History of the Swastika

    The swastika has to be one of the most important and controversial symbols in history.
    Most people associate it with the Nazis, but it far predates them. I think it goes back even further than Atlantis times.
    In addition to the below information, Ive researched that the swastika also symbolizes the torsion creative force of the cosmos.
    Hitler and Himmler reversed it to have a new meaning for them: Sheer will by force and inevitable victory.
    The American Boy Scouts used the symbol until 1933, and Native American tribes used it as well. It was a worldwide symbol, which gives some evidence of ancient worldwide high civilizations in my opinion.


    From Ancient Origins website:

    The Powerful Symbol of the Swastika and its 12,000 Year History

    The swastika is a symbol that was used in the 20 th century by of one of the most hated men ever to have lived, a symbol that now represents the slaughter of millions of people and one of the most destructive wars on Earth. But Adolf Hitler was not the first to use this symbol. In fact, it was used as a positive and powerful symbol thousands of years before him, across many cultures and continents.

    Spiritual Beginning for the Swastika
    For the Hindus and Buddhists in India and other Asian countries, the swastika was an important symbol for many thousands of years and, to this day, the symbol can still be seen in abundance - on temples, buses, taxis, and on the cover of books. It was also used in Ancient Greece and Rome, and can be found in the remains of the ancient city of Troy, which existed 4,000 years ago. The ancient Druids and the Celts also used the symbol, reflected in many artifacts that have been discovered. It was used by Nordic tribes, and even early Christians used the Swastika as one of their symbols, including the Teutonic Knights , a German medieval military order, which became a purely religious Catholic Order. But why is this symbol so important and why did Adolf Hitler decide to use it?


    A swastika is a symbol found in many cultures, with different meanings, drawn in different styles.

    Positive Days of the Swastika
    The word ‘swastika’ is a Sanskrit word (‘svasktika’) meaning ‘It is’, ‘Well Being’, ‘Good Existence, and ‘Good Luck’. However, it is also known by different names in different countries - like ‘Wan’ in China, ‘Manji’ in Japan, ‘Fylfot’ in England, ‘Hakenkreuz’ in Germany and ‘Tetraskelion’ or ‘Tetragammadion’ in Greece.

    In 1979, a Sanskrit scholar P. R. Sarkar said that the deeper meaning of the word is ‘Permanent Victory’. He also said that like any symbol it can have positive and negative meaning depending on how it is drawn. So in Hinduism, the right-hand swastika illustrated below is a symbol of the God Vishnu and the Sun, while the left-hand swastika is a symbol of Kali and Magic.

    The double meaning of symbols is common in ancient traditions , like for example the symbol of the pentagram (five pointed star), which is viewed as negative when pointing downwards, and positive when pointing upwards.

    12,000 Years of Symbolism
    The earliest swastika ever found was uncovered in Mezine, Ukraine, carved on an ivory figurine which dates back an incredible 12,000 years. One of the earliest cultures that are known to have used the Swastika was a Neolithic culture in Southern Europe, in the area that is now Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, known as the Vinca Culture, which dates back around 8,000 years.

    In Buddhism, the swastika is a symbol of good fortune, prosperity, abundance and eternity. It is directly related to Buddha and can be found carved on statues on the soles of his feet and on his heart. It is said that it contains Buddha’s mind.

    On the walls of the Christian catacombs in Rome, the symbol of the Swastika appears next to the words “ZOTIKO ZOTIKO” which means “Life of Life”. It can also be found on the window openings of the mysterious Lalibela Rock churches of Ethiopia, and in various other churches around the world.


    Skastika symbol in the window of Lalibela Rock hewn churches.



    Various examples of the swastika in Christian settings. ( The Swastikaphobia Project )

    Left, The Samarra bowl at the Pergamonmuseum, Berlin. The swastika in the center of the design is a reconstruction. Right, Finding the cemetery of Ancient Thera, 8th to 7th century BC. Archaeological Museum of Fira. ( CC BY-SA 3.0 )

    In Nordic Myths , Odin is represented passing through space as a whirling disk or swastika looking down through all worlds. In North America, the swastika was used by the Navajos. In Ancient Greece, Pythagoras used the Swastika under the name ‘Tetraktys’ and it was a symbol linking heaven and earth, with the right arm pointing to heaven and its left arm pointing to Earth.
    It has been used by the Phoenicians as a symbol of the Sun and it was a sacred symbol used by the priestesses.

    The swastika, the Phoenician sun symbol, on the Phoenician Craig-Narget stone in Scotland, and on the robe of a Phoenician high priestess. (Source)​

    How and why did so many diverse countries and cultures, across many eras, use the same symbol and apparently with the same meaning?
    It is ironic, and unfortunate, that a symbol of life and eternity that was considered sacred for thousands of years has become a symbol of hatred.


    I also found this swastika documentary to be pretty darn good. It at least mentions the Thule and Vril Societies. It clears up a lot of myths.


    Unknown Ancient Geoglyphs Discovered In Kazakhstan

    Over 50 ancient and previously unknown geoglyphs, reminiscent of Peru's famous Nazca lines, have been found in the Northern regions of Kazakhstan.

    Using Google Earth, researchers were able to uncover a variety of geoglyphs in various shapes and sizes, IFLScience relates. The geometric shapes range from 90 to 400 meters (295 to 1,312 feet) in diameter, with some larger than a modern aircraft carrier. The largest geoglyphs suggest that they were created by a well-established, more advanced culture.

    The formations include squares, rings, crosses, and even a giant swastika, a symbol used in ancient times -- long before the Nazi party appropriated it. Difficult to observe from the ground, the geoglyphs are readily visible from the air, researchers say.

    For over a year, a team from Kazakhstan's Kostanay University has been studying the geoglyphs, working alongside researchers from Vilnius University in Lithuania. The teams have utilized a variety of methods, according to Discovery News, including ground-penetrating radar and aerial photography to examine the geoglyphs, which are mostly constructed from earthen mounds. The swastika, however, was fashioned from timber, unlike the others.

    http://t.co/tEwq6naZql IB Times: Nazca Lines: 50 Ancient Geoglyphs including Giant Swastikas Discovered in Kazakhstan pic.twitter.com/eyb5LtLXH2

    — CyberNewsUK (@CyberNewsUK) September 24, 2014

    "As of today, we can say only one thing — the geoglyphs were built by ancient people. By whom and for what purpose, remains a mystery," they said.

    Surprisingly, geoglyphs are found in widely distributed areas across the globe, including England, the United States, Chile, and Russia. With the advent of satellite imagery and the ability of consumers to access it through platforms like Google Earth, they have become increasingly easy to discover. Both professional archaeologists and amateurs are able to identify and study formations like the Kazakhstan geoglyphs with relative ease.


    Positive Days of the Swastika

    The word ‘swastika’ is a Sanskrit word (‘svasktika’) meaning ‘It is’, ‘Well Being’, ‘Good Existence, and ‘Good Luck’. However, it is also known by different names in different countries – like ‘Wan’ in China, ‘Manji’ in Japan, ‘Fylfot’ in England, ‘Hakenkreuz’ in Germany and ‘Tetraskelion’ or ‘Tetragammadion’ in Greece.

    Mosaic swastika in excavated Byzantine church in Shavei Tzion (Israel). ( CC BY-SA 3.0 )

    In 1979, a Sanskrit scholar P. R. Sarkar said that the deeper meaning of the word is ‘Permanent Victory’. He also said that like any symbol it can have positive and negative meaning depending on how it is drawn. So in Hinduism, the right-hand swastika illustrated below is a symbol of the God Vishnu and the Sun, while the left-hand swastika is a symbol of Kali and Magic.

    The double meaning of symbols is common in ancient traditions , like for example the symbol of the pentagram (five pointed star), which is viewed as negative when pointing downwards, and positive when pointing upwards.


    Mysterious Ancient Geoglyphs Discovered In Kazakhstan Leave Archeologists Perplexed

    More than 50 remarkable ancient earthworks have been discovered in Kazakhstan, although archeologists are at a loss to explain who made them and for what purpose. The geoglyphs, which have been likened to the famous Nazca Lines of Peru, are scattered across a vast area of the Kazakh steppe, and were first discovered by archeology enthusiast Dmitriy Dey using Google Earth.

    An international team of researchers from the Lithuanian Institute of History and Kostanay University in Kazakhstan are now attempting to decipher the age, meaning and function of the man-made features, yet have so far been left scratching their heads. Speaking to Live Science, archeologists Irina Shevnina and Andrew Logvin explained that “we can say only one thing – the geoglyphs were built by ancient people. By whom and for what purpose, remains a mystery.”

    Photo credit:਍igitalGlobe via NASA

    This uncertainty has led to speculation and disagreement about the nature of the earthworks. Dey and the team at Kostanay claim they could be up to 8,000 years old, based on how much the mounds has eroded and the age of Neolithic flints found at the sites, and built as part of a sun-worshipping cult. However, Dr Giedre Motuzaite Matuzeviciute of the Lithuanian Institute of History disputes thisਊnd dates them at under 2,000 years old, using a different method called luminescence dating, which looks at exposure to sunlight over time. She told National Geographic that they may have been 𠇋uilt as a kind of landmark, something that could be seen from river valleys far away.”

    Among the structures are a number of crosses, rings, and a hooked cross that resembles an ancient swastika. This symbol has been found at ancient archeological sites across the world, ranging from engravings on Hindu temples to Nordic stone carvings, and has been associated with a number of different meanings that are not related to its modern, negative connotations.


    Kazakhstan geoglyphs: Solving the mystery of the huge structures created by ancient civilization

    Last year it was announced that 50 huge sprawling geoglyphs had been discovered in Kazakhstan by archaeologists surveying Google Earth, but since then there has been little information about how, when and why they were built. That is why Pittsburgh University scientists Shalkar Adambekov and Ronald Laporte are calling for further research into the geoglyphs, while working on getting the area designated as a world heritage site. The geoglyphs come in a huge range of shapes and sizes – there are rings, crosses, squares and a swastika. Unlike the famous Nazca lines in Peru, they were constructed by building mounds – the Nazca lines were created by digging into the ground.

    What is most intriguing about the geoglyphs is who made them. It is thought they date back at least 3,000 years, but further research into the patterns indicates the oldest could be as much as 7,000 years old. During this time in Kazakhstan, societies were largely nomadic, so why they would have started building these features with stone is a complete mystery.

    The geoglyphs are between 3,000 and 7,000 years old Google Earth/discovery.turgay.kz

    Nurgali Arystanov, from the Kazakhstan embassy in the US, recently sent out a newsletter with some updates about the geoglyphs. In it, he said they are on a par with ancient sites like the Egyptian pyramids and Stonehenge. While the geoglyphs were announced in 2014, he said they were actually discovered by Dmitry Dey, Irina Shevnina and Andrey Logvin in 2007. The largest on is the Ushtogaysky square: "Its size and accuracy of geometric shapes just amaze. The size of this square is eight hectares. It consists of 101 mounds. The 101st one is located in the centre, on each side are 15 barrows and 10 barrows in each half-diagonal." Another large object is the Torgay three-fold swastika measuring 90m in diameter – however, the condition of this geoglyph is poor.

    At present, it is thought the geoglyphs had sacred, religious purposes – possibly built for funeral ceremonies. It has also been suggested they serve as symbols of belongings to specific families or tribes and that it could have been left by a native Hun-Sarmatian culture.

    Adambekov, who is from Kazakhstan but is now completing a PhD at Pittsburgh, told IBTimes UK that while scientists are studying these geoglyphs to try to better understand them, more needs to be done: "The main thing is they are very scarcely studied. There are groups of people studying the geoglyphs and they have reported their findings, but I think there are many more things to be discovered. Also there are concerns over preservation because of construction and natural erosion and other things. It's an old and cultural thing so it is important – they think it is the trace of an old civilization.

    "It's a complicated problem. Kazakhstan is an obscure country and no one knows much about it. It's not floating in world news, as a result few people know what's going on there. That's one part of the problem. Financing is another thing. Archaeology as I understand is not very well funded and Kazakhstan is a developing country . If we could attract more financing that would be great."

    Laporte, who is professor emeritus in epidemiology, is directly involved in getting the Kazakhstan geoglyphs listed as a world heritage site. "So little is known about them," he said. "Our ancestors must have spent so much time building them that there had to have been an important function to their lives. Understanding these better is essential to understanding our own history, especially in Kazakhstan with a nomadic population – why would they spend all these years building and going back and forth? In terms of the history of mankind, they mean something very important but they just haven't been investigated.

    "The approach we've been taking is to try to promote it as a world heritage site. I'm trying to bring together the US scientists with the Kazakhstan scientists. Not so they can take over, but to help to explore it – they need the resources and this is something for the world."

    Adambekov recently put together a summary of the geoglyph findings to date. He notes that the population density of Kazakhstan is one of the lowest in the world. In this "tucked away place", he said, whole civilizations could be hidden from the world for years. The geoglyphs indicate a rich and complicated history of Kazakhstan, and should be researched and preserved. But lack of attention and poor financing "could bring this marvelous discovery to an end, and much ancient history of this region could be lost forever".

    "This is very important for Kazakhstan because these lines are very old and due to nomadic culture of our ancestors, there was not much building in stone. They could be a point of interest for Kazakhstan so it's very important for the country and its history."

    He also said further research could lead to more discoveries like these 50 geoglyphs, as the country is so huge and unpopulated: "The geoglyphs were obscured for thousands of years. There were no myths indicating a place like this. Usually something big and famous there are myths, but there aren't. So probably due to the size of the country that many other things could be found. Maybe not in this particular region but in other regions of Kazakhstan. There are a lot of things to find."


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    He believes that the some of the figures were built along straight lines were used as 'horizontal observatories to track the movements of the rising sun' in a similar way to Stonehenge.

    One of the biggest of these structures is a square of 101 raised mounds, with its corners connected by a diagonal cross.

    Another structure appeared to be a swastika. While the symbol may now be associated with Nazis, it was in fact an ancient symbol used for more than 3,000 years to depict prosperity and power.

    The Bestamskoe Ring is among the so-called Steppe Geoglyphs in Kazakhstan. Nasa's involvement in studying these figure could spur more research in this area, and finally uncover the true meaning behind these unusual shapes

    The Ashsutastinsky cross is seen here. The shapes were first spotted in Google Earth in 2007 by Kazakh economist, Dmitriy Dey. They are created from mounds of dirt only three feet high and roughly 30 feet wide (0.9 metres high and 9 metres wide).

    The largest of these is a square of 101 raised mounds, with its corners connected by a diagonal cross. Dey believes that the some of the figures were built along straight lines were used as 'horizontal observatories to track the movements of the rising sun'

    For example, in Indo-European culture a swastika was a mark made on people to give them good luck. The word itself is derived from the Sanskrit 'svastika' and means 'good to be'.

    This isn't the oldest swastika symbol found. The earliest known object with swastika-motifs is a bird made from mammoth tusk from the paleolithic settlement of Mezine, Ukraine dated to 10,000 BCE.

    After finding the geoglyphs on Google Earth, archaeologists from Kostanay University in Kazakhstan and Vilnius University in Lithuania have been using radar to better understand the structure.

    The team excavated the sites and found remnants of ancient structures and fireplaces, suggesting the locations were used for rituals.

    HISTORY OF THE SWASTIKA: RELIGIOUS SYMBOL WHOSE MEANING WAS PERVERTED BY NAZI EVIL

    Many Hindus traditionally painted the swastika symbol over their doors during festivals in order to welcome the gods inside

    While the symbol may now be associated with Nazis, it was in fact an ancient symbol used for more than 12,000 years to depict prosperity and power.

    The swastika is an ancient symbol whose history stretched back for millennia before its meaning was perverted by Nazi ideology.

    It is used to represent luck in Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism, and takes its name - meaning 'it is good' from the Sanskrit language in which the Hindu religious texts were written.

    Many Hindus traditionally painted the swastika symbol over their doors during festivals in order to welcome the gods inside.

    As well as Asian religions, the swastika has been a popular decorative motif in Greek, Roman, Celtic and Byzantine art, making it one of the most common symbols in human history.

    However, in 1920 Adolf Hitler declared that the swastika - tilted 45 degrees - should be the official logo of his nascent Nazi Party.

    When he came to power, he replaced the German flag with a swastika in a white circle on a red background, making the emblem a feared symbol of his murderous regime.

    After the Second World War the Nazi swastika was outlawed in Germany, Poland, Hungary and Lithuania, although it is still permitted in a religious or scholarly context.

    The earliest known object with swastika-motifs is a bird made from mammoth tusk from the paleolithic settlement of Mezine, Ukraine dated to 10,000 BCE.

    Most of the shapes were created by creating mounds in the earth, but the swastika was arranged using wood.

    'As of today, we can only say one thing - the geoglyphs were built by ancient people. By whom and for what purpose, remains a mystery,' Kostanay archaeologists Irina Shevnina and Andrew Logvin told Owen Jarus at LiveScience.

    Nasa has this week asked the astronauts on the International Space Station to take more images of the region in the hopes of deciphering the geoglyphs.

    Dey and his team are also also looking into using drones to map the area.

    They may gain insights from geoglyphs elsewhere, including the most famous example in Peru's Nazca Lines.

    Another view of the swastika.The swastika is an ancient symbol whose history stretched back for millennia before its meaning was perverted by Nazi ideology. It is used to represent luck in Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism, and takes its name - meaning 'it is good' from the Sanskrit language in which the Hindu religious texts were written

    'As of today, we can only say one thing - the geoglyphs were built by ancient people. By whom and for what purpose, remains a mystery,' Kostanay archaeologists Irina Shevnina and Andrew Logvin told Owen Jarus at LiveScience

    Last year, the mysteries of the Nazca Lines intensified after gales and sandstorms revealed previously unseen ancient designs.

    A pilot discovered a geoglyph of what appears to be a 196ft-long (60 metre) snake, as well as a type of camelid - such as a llama - above an unidentified bird.

    These new lines join existing geoglyphs of a dog, hummingbird, condor and a monkey, thought to have been drawn by the ancient Nazca people between the first and sixth centuries.

    Experts believe the Nazca used to dance along the lines of the geoglyphs when they prayed for rain - and many of the same images appear on Nazca pottery.

    An animal-shaped stone structure that may predate Peru's Nazca Lines have also been discovered in Russia, near Lake Zjuratkul in the Ural Mountains, north of Kazakhstan.

    As well as Peru's Nazca Lines and the strange shapes in Khazakstan, archaeologists have found thousands of wheel-shaped geoglyphs in the Middle East.


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