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Steppe Geoglyphs

Steppe Geoglyphs or Turgay Geoglyphs, ancient earthworks in Kostanay prov., N Kazakhstan. Located across the Turgay steppe, the more than 250 earthworks consist of squares, crosses, circles, lines, and other shapes, which in many cases are formed by a series of circular earthen mounds. The Ushtogaysky Square, a square whose sides measure 940 ft (287 m) and whose corners are linked by diagonals, is formed from 101 mounds 30–40 ft (10–12 m) in diameter and 3 ft (1 m) high the mounds were originally 6–10 ft (2–3 m) high. The Torgay Swastika, the most unusual earthwork, has three main arms, each roughly 108 ft (33 m) in length, that terminate in two smaller angled arms. It is unclear who constructed the earthworks and when one earthwork has been been scientifically dated to c.800 BC Excavations so far have found no evidence that the mounds were used for burials. The earthworks were largely unknown until 2007 when Dmitriy Dey spotted the first of them while searching satellite images for remains of ancient structures.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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