A TEAM is planning to visit the “gates of hell” – a mysterious cluster of 400 ancient structures found on the edge of a volcano.
A stunned archaeologist uncovered the stone walls, which look like field gates, in the Harrat Khaybar region of Saudi Arabia, using Google Earth this month.
David Kennedy, a professor of archaeology at the University of Western Australia, made the incredible find after poring over the satellite images and has never actually visited the Middle Eastern country.
The bizarre structures, which measure around 50cm high and some as long as 500 metres, are thought to be between 2,000 and 9,000 years old.
Describing the desert discoveries as “gates”, Professor Kennedy says he found them by pure luck after a Saudi doctor pal asked him to look over some of the high-resolution Google images.
“He said ‘I’m interested in the heritage of my country, I’ve spotted on Google Earth that there are some rather strange structures in the lava fields and I went out with some friends to have a look’,” Professor Kennedy said.
He continued: “He sent the coordinates of them to me and I had a look and I was bowled over by them.
“They are not like anything else I’ve seen.”
“They are in extremely bleak, arid areas – very inhospitable, there’s not much vegetation and you wouldn’t think that our species would want to spend very much time [there] at all.
“But when you get up 500 feet or more, suddenly you can see that there are literally thousands of these stone-built structures.”