Desert Kites:


The Arabian Peninsula is also a treasure trove for kite researchers. Here, many desert kites have survived the millennia. They are distributed in the west of Saudi Arabia in several clusters over 1,500 km from north to south.

Bild "ARABIA:archaeojournal-logo-120px.jpg" In the Journal of Archaeological Science Reports there is an interesting new scientific evaluation of kites and possible proto-kites in Saudi Arabia.
This article by a group of French archaeologists around the renowned kite researcher Olivier Barge was created in close cooperation with and is largely based on my finds.

An indication of the age of the Arabian desert kites can be seen in this image. They are covered by a lava flow. Since the last volcanic eruptions in this region were around 1,400 years ago, the kites peeking out from underneath cannot be any younger.

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North Arabia: Harrat al Sham

In the extreme north of Saudi Arabia, near the Jordanian border, desert kites are polygonal or have tips that give them a slightly star-shaped appearance and their diameter is usually between 100 and 200 meters. The same patterns continue further north through Jordan to Syria. From this it can be concluded that at the time of the kite builders this region was a contiguous area in which people of the same culture lived.

North Arabia: Tabuk

South of Tabuk, some V-shaped kites have been preserved, as they exist all the way over to the Sinai. It is interesting to note that here, at the end of the guide walls, there was usually no artificial pitfall. The animals were killed by means of a naturally existing rock cliff over which they fell into an abyss.

Central Arabia: Khybar

The special thing about the Khybar kites is their unique shape. The large enclosure continues the converging direction of the guide walls and thus looks like a large arrow. Often several units are nested one behind the other. It is not uncommon for the enclosure to reach a total length of 300 to 400 metres.

South of Medina

The further one goes to the south of Saudi Arabia, the more rudimentary and fragmentary the remains of kites that are still visible there become. The classic desert kite with the large collection enclosure is completely missing here. One only sees open trap systems (open kites) in which two relatively short guide walls lead directly to mostly several pitfalls. It is striking that the vast majority of these kites are located close to gullies that may have been watercourses in the past. Were here animals whose habitat rivers and lakes are the target of the hunt? The remains of the kites south of Medina remind me visually very much of the finds in the Central Sahara.

Images courtesy of Google Earth™

These pictures are only a small selection. All the objects I found are included in the following download (Google Earth required):
Download placemarks of more than 1,200 kites >

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