23 February 2024 The Future is the Product of the Past

Mustatil Structures in Arabia May Be 7,000-Year-Old Stone Remnants of Cattle Cult

Archaeologists examining the mustatil stone remains in the northwest of Arabia think that these stone remains may have been used for 7,000-year-old cattle cult.

A new research group has discovered the prehistoric rectangular stone structures known as mustatils discovered in northwestern Saudi Arabia are older than traditionally thought, perhaps predating the pyramids.

The mustatils are discovered to be among the world’s oldest monuments, according to archaeologists. The discovery was assigned this name by the Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU), which is the plural version of the Arabic word for rectangles.

While the presence of the mustatils was previously recognized, the analysis suggests that the team counted more than 1,000 stone rectangular-shaped monuments, nearly double the number previously found.

Each mustatil is made up of two thick-walled ends joined by two or more long walls to form a series of massive rectangular courtyards varying in length from 20 meters to over 600 meters. Outside the mustatil’s main entrance, circular/semi-circular cells have been built.

According to the research, about 1,000 of these mustatils occupy an area of 200,000km2 and have very similar shapes, implying that they are all from the same time span.

Mustatil photo
Mustatils are complex monumental structures consisting of two thick ends (base and head) connected by two or more long walls to create a series of courtyards, that look like big rectangles. © AAKSA and Royal Commission for AlUla, courtesy Antiquity

The dissertation on this find is part of the University of Western Australia’s archaeological program in the provinces of AlUla and Khaybar.

“We think of them as a monumental landscape,” said Melissa Kennedy, an archaeologist at the University of Western Australia in Perth and an author of the study, NBC reported her as saying. “We are talking about over 1,000 mustatils. These things are found over 200,000 square kilometers [77,000 square miles], and they’re all very similar in shape … so perhaps it’s the same ritual belief or understanding.”

Scientists are baffled as to why the ancient civilizations who created the mustatils built so many of them around what is now Saudi Arabia’s desert. Kennedy theorizes that certain mustatils were only used once, or that different groups of people created and used different mustatils in close proximity to one another.

One clue to their purpose is the discovery of a small chamber or niche on the headwalls of certain mustatils, which seems to have been used for animal sacrifices.

According to Kennedy, 900-year-old archaeological evidence of a cattle cult was found in the south of Arabia, and the mustatils may have been an early manifestation of that belief. Any mustatils may have been developed to stake territorial claims on productive herd pasture.

Related Articles

History of 8,500 years waits for a museum

19 June 2023

19 June 2023

The conservation process of the Yenikapı shipwrecks, which were discovered during the Marmaray project and considered the largest collection of...

Traces of a 3,600-year-old settlement have been discovered in Qatar’s desert

8 February 2022

8 February 2022

Researchers looking for underground water sources on the Eastern Arabian Peninsula have accidentally uncovered the outlines of a settlement that...

12 tombs with Beautiful Decorations and Carved Bricks from the period of Kublai Khan, the grandson of Genghis Khan, found in China

22 May 2023

22 May 2023

China has a rich history. In addition to the fossil records from the Paleolithic Period, the country has witnessed the...

1,300-year-old shipwreck found in southwest France

19 June 2022

19 June 2022

Archeologists in France have discovered the wreck of a ship that navigated the Garonne river in southwestern France in the...

A Mysterious Partially Submerged Structure in Ireland is a Prehistoric Tomb, archaeologist says

25 October 2022

25 October 2022

New research has revealed that a mysterious structure found many years ago on the eastern shore of Cork Harbor in...

Ancient ceremonial chariot found in Pompeii

27 February 2021

27 February 2021

The Archaeological Park announced that a gorgeous Roman chariot was found “almost intact” near Pompeii, where it was buried, calling...

The World’s Oldest Smiling Water Flask with Emoji will be on display

4 July 2021

4 July 2021

After the collapse of the Hittite Empire, the Late Hittite States was established in Anatolia and Syria. One of these...

9,200-year-old Noongar habitation discovered at Augusta archaeological dig site

28 July 2021

28 July 2021

An archaeological dig in Augusta, in West Australia‘s South West, has uncovered evidence of Noongar habitation dating back an estimated...

Surprising Discovery: In Guatemala, archaeologists uncover hidden neighborhood in the ancient Maya city

28 September 2021

28 September 2021

A recent lidar analysis revealed, the region surrounding Central Tikal’s Lost World Complex, which was long thought to be a...

Unexpected Results Of Ancient DNA Study: Analysis sheds light on the early peopling of South America

3 November 2022

3 November 2022

Around 60,000 years ago, modern humans left Africa and quickly spread across six continents. Researchers can trace this epic migration...

Mystery ax discovered off the coast of Arendal of Norway

26 July 2021

26 July 2021

Researchers have discovered a find that could be a first for Norwegian archeology. A hollow ax, which researchers believe dates...

Royal-Memorial Inscription Attributed to King Sargon II Discovered in Western Iran

25 April 2021

25 April 2021

In western Iran, Iranian archaeologists discovered a part of a royal memorial inscription attributed to the Neo-Assyrian king Sargon II....

White grape pips found in the Negev dated may be the oldest of its kind worldwide

29 April 2023

29 April 2023

Researchers from the University of York, Tel Aviv University, and the University of Copenhagen provide new insight into the mystery...

Interesting discovery at Crowland digs, a human poo from the Saxon period or coprolite found

16 August 2021

16 August 2021

Excavations in Abbey Church Field in Crowland, near Peterborough, have also yielded such amazing finds results for archaeologists. The archaeological...

Rare gladiator tombs were discovered in the Ancient City of Anavarza in southern Türkiye

10 August 2022

10 August 2022

Archaeologists have discovered rare gladiator tombs in the ancient city of Anavarza, known as the “Invincible city” in history, which...