Saudi Arabia’s Stonehenge-Like Site Still a Mystery

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By Sanskrity Sinha | December 21, 2011 5:21 PM EST

There is much about this world -- the physical and the spiritual -- that we still do not know or understand. Principal among these mysterious objects is collection of some 50 groups of stone columns erected at what is today called Al-Rajajil (translated as The Men), near the ancient oasis town of Sakakah in Al-Jawf province in northwestern Saudi Arabia.

The monument is located at 040.13.199 longitude and 29.48.664 latitude and the site itself is on high ground, overlooking a large low-lying area to its north, according to the Saudi Commission for Tourism & Antiquities.

The pillars, dubbed the "Stonehenge of Saudi Arabia," are believed to have some sort of connection to (and are roughly aligned with) sunrise and sunset and date back to the fourth century B.C.

A signboard at the site tells the curious visitor that many stone tools, such as arrows, drills and scrappers have been discovered, over the years, at the site; some of these tools have been traced to the end of the Neolithic area, providing researchers with some clue about its origin.

However, there is still no idea why people actually built these pillars.

Interestingly, a 2011 SCTA report explained that the stones appeared to be in compact and straight lines. The report also says that while some stones rose to more than 3.5 meters in height, others do not exceed 50 cm. It is presumed that the shorter columns are the fallen remains of the longer ones. The thickness of the columns, on average, is roughly 75 cm and some of the stones carry engraved texts which are still being deciphered.

"These columns are believed to be primarily a religious site or second-class graves," SCTA's Thamer Aud Al Malki, the author of the report, notes, adding, "We hope researches and excavations will reveal to us the secrets of the site."

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