The discovery and analysis of four sites dating to about 5,000 years ago the shore of ancient Lake Turkana provides a new model for how and why people constructed similar complex sites. In this area, the evidence shows that these were built during the very beginning of animal domestication and nearly 1,000 years before the first evidence of agriculture. Excavations during the summer of 2014 showed that hundreds of people were buried communally near and within these stone monuments with some graves being associated with high status items such as beads and ivory rings. Ground-penetrating radar analysis of the area near the sites shows a progression of burials over 500 years of time during which the burial area was expanded, remodeled and changed. These discoveries seem to suggest that our standard anthropological models for why people build monuments should be refined or modified.