The function of desert kites: an analysis of hunting theory


  • Mariam Shakhmuradyan


Desert kites, function, hunting trap, theory, analysis


The present paper discusses the function of large-scale prehistoric structures known as ‘desert kites’. Currently the most widespread view is that kites served as hunting traps for herds of wild ungulates, especially gazelles. This theory is mainly based on the ethnographic data as well as on the presence of several structural similarities between kites and game drives of other regions (North America, Scandinavia, Tibet). Other arguments as well in support of the hunting theory have been put forward, however direct evidence, confirming the mass-slaughter inside of the kites has yet to be found. In contrast to the hunting traps of other regions, where accumulations of stratified weapons and bones have been uncovered, no such evidence exists in the case of kites. Despite this fact, the hunting theory remains the most accepted and no attempts have been made to examine systematically the potential validity of this theory in light of available data. This paper aims to fill this gap.


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How to Cite

Shakhmuradyan, M. (2020). The function of desert kites: an analysis of hunting theory. ARAMAZD: Armenian Journal of Near Eastern Studies, 14(1-2), 1–27. Retrieved from