Link to BBC Homepage

Front Page







World News in Audio

On Air


Talking Point


Low Graphics


Site Map

Thursday, April 2, 1998 Published at 08:04 GMT 09:04 UK

World: Africa

Discovery in mystery of desert stones

Scientists in the United States say they have established that gigantic stone slabs in the Sahara Desert at Nabta in southern Egypt were built as an astronomical observatory by stone age people centuries before anyone had previously thought.

The BBC Science correspondent says these findings of a civilisation far more advanced than had been generally assumed will provoke a rethink among archaeologists about the origins of Egypt's pharaonic dynasty who later built the Pyramids.

Scientists at the University of Colorado say the Nabta stones, weighing several tons, were dragged more than a kilometre into their present position.

Satellite photos show the stones were precisely aligned with the sun at the summer solstice.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage

Link to BBC Homepage

In this section

Dam builders charged in bribery scandal

Burundi camps 'too dire' to help

Sudan power struggle denied

Animal airlift planned for Congo

Spy allegations bug South Africa

Senate leader's dismissal 'a good omen'

Tatchell calls for rights probe into Mugabe

Zimbabwe constitution: Just a bit of paper?

South African gays take centre stage

Nigeria's ruling party's convention

UN to return to Burundi

Bissau military hold fire

Nile basin agreement on water cooperation

Congo Brazzaville defends peace initiative

African Media Watch

Liberia names new army chief

Africa Contents

Country profiles