TOWER OF POWER
It has been called the world’s first skyscraper. 11,000 years ago, a society of hunter-gatherers built an 8-metre tall tower and staircase out of stone – for apparently no reason. Ever since it was discovered, the Tower of Jericho has puzzled archaeologists. Some have suggested that it was built as a watchtower, but there’s no evidence of any invasions. Instead, the tower might have been a way for the first villagers to bond. Roy Liran and Ran Barkai at Tel Aviv University, Israel, recently simulated the way the tower would have looked during the summer solstice. They found that the shadows of the surrounding hills would have first enveloped the tower as the sun set, creating an image full of foreboding. The eerie effect could have been used by the village chiefs, they say, to scare their brethren into working harder.