Monday, January 16, 2012

(African) mysterious stone circles

“Metals, Magic and Muti” – Anthropologist suggests shallow surface mining as the reason behind thousands of mysterious stone circles...Upon closer examination, rocks in the area have been found to carry traces of ground ochre and oil, traditionally used by sangomas to coat their hair and bodies. Further, many of the stones in the area have been worn down, perhaps used to grind herbs for muti (traditional medicine). Professor Thornton suggests that the stone circles may also have been used by sangomas as sacred and protected workshops for their rituals, which may explain why they have been left largely undisturbed to this day.


Anonymous said...

They "have been left largely undisturbed to this day" because development has not gotten to the areas where they are still left. Google Earth shows clearly housing developments overlapping and destroying the stone circles. Otherwise why bother removing them? They undoubtably took many millions of man hours to build and would require lots of time and money to remove, so they are left alone until economics dictate they have to go. There are many thousands of these structures visible on GE, my guess is at least 100,000 separate structures, many now hidden under earth or greenery and barely visible even on GE. They are also often connected by "roads", i.e. parallel stone walls. I think their original purpose being mining is as sensible as anything else I have read, but my guess is they were built and used long before the Bantu herdspeople moved into the area. There are many similar structures in Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Eritrea and Kenya, among others.


pwax said...

Not sure if these are the same kind of "circles" we looked at earlier on Google Earth. I recall that, during that exercise, going further south in Africa one came to aerial views of currently occupied villages with essentially the same wall structures.