09 August 2021

Stone Kite – Khaybar

The desert and particularly harrat landscapes of Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Iraq are covered with a large number of manmade prehistoric structures, named desert kites. They were discovered in 1925 by aircraft pilots, and can be seen easily on satellite images like Google Maps. Some are very large in size and they are thought to be from the Neolithic period. But there is no doubt that these structures are prehistoric. There is much debate about the use of these structures, with most thinking they were used as hunting traps, to herd game in the ending enclosure of the kite. The kites are normally triangular shapes with one end open and typically two, three or more circular enclosures on the edge of this coral. They vary in size from a few hundred metres in length to others that can span over several kilometres with the more complex larger kites having five or more circular enclosures joint with curve shaped walls. There are many thoughts as to how the traps were used but one is that live animals were kept in the small circular enclosures and killed as needed as there was no refrigeration in those days and others are the enclosures were there to trap the animals for easy slaughter. The bottom photo is taken from Google Maps.