Thursday, November 21, 2013

11/21 Archeology Talk on Ancient "Kites"

I went to an archeology ranger talk this morning.  I was a bit upset at first to find out it was being given by an Israeli archeologist because I was expecting Native American history of the area.

As it turned out, it was very interesting.  This university professor was here in the U.S. to study buffalo jumps, which is are devices used by the ancient Native Americans to catch buffalo.  They consist of a line of stones with people standing along the line waving their arms to direct the buffalo to a cliff where they jump off in panic and die, making it very easy to kill animals with little danger to humans. 

I had visited the Vore Buffalo Jump along I 90 in Wyoming this past summer and found it very interesting.  If you drive along I 90 and see a huge teepee, don't miss it.  The teepee is wooden and contains a museum:

Anyway, RAF pilots took air photos of strange structures in the desert that looked like kites because they had a central circle of stones with long lines of rocks that looks a lot like kites from the air.  These were sometimes as long as a mile or two.  Archeologists have discovered that 4,000 - 5,000 years ago in many places in the Middle East, people also built animal traps made of stone lines and pits.  They used these to catch mostly gazelles and onagers, which were primitive donkeys.

Here are two articles I found about these: 
So who would know that I would learn about ancient Middle Eastern "kites" in the California desert??

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