Science/Tech

Mysterious Cross-Shaped Structure Discovered Buried In Russia

The world is home to some of the strangest things that man can ever discover, or in this case, unearth, and this strange but startling new find by scientists is no less different.

Buried deep underground in Russia, a mysterious cross-shaped structure is recently unearthed by archaelogists, presumed to be one of the world’s oldest Christian churches.

Presently still an unknown structure, the old underground building of sorts sits in a fortification that dates as far back as A.D. 300 and is called Naryn-Kala. Located at the fortress’ northwestern side, the cross-shaped structure 36-feet height is almost hidden underground except for a small broken dome at the top. Thankfully, the location is a UNESCO cultural heritage site, guaranteeing the preservation of the structure from excavation and destruction. However, as a direct result, the structure’s exact function remains unknown.

Per a statement from the MISIS National University of Science and Technology in Russia, the unknown structure could either be an old Christian church, a reservoir of sorts or even a Zoroastrian fire temple.

To find out more about its former function, a group of researchers then used a method called “muon radiography.” Through this, the researchers used cosmic rays to help them paint a complete and undisturbed photo of the structure just as it was millennia ago.

To do this, the researchers went inside the structure and placed a number of muon detectors at about 33 feet, after which they used it to take measurements for around two months. After this, they discovered that the structure has enough density to make a 3D model. Afterwards, the researchers then theorized although the structure may not have been a water tank, it was certainly used for water storage sometime in  the 17th and 18th  centuries.

"It seems very strange to me to interpret this building as a water tank," said co-author Natalia Polukhina, a physicist at the MISIS National University of Science and Technology. "What is the sense to put the tank on the surface, and even on the highest mountain? Currently, there are more questions than answers."

According to them, the research was also a test of the “muon radiography” method’s efficacy as much as it is about making a new discovery.

The logo of the UNESCO is seen inside at the headquarters in Paris on September 22,2009. The logo of the UNESCO is seen inside at the headquarters in Paris on September 22,2009. Charles Platiau/Reuters

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