Saudi Arabia’s Heritage Commission has just unveiled the discovery of a new archaeological site that dates back 120,000 years.
Through a joint effort by local and international excavation teams, the footprints of humans, elephants and predators were discovered around an ancient dry lake on the outskirts of Tabuk, in the kingdom's northwestern region.
This marks the first scientific discovery of the oldest human habitation in the Arabian Peninsula as well as providing a rare glimpse into the living conditions of people in the region during their travels.
The team were able to identify footprint traces of seven humans, 107 camels, 43 elephants and other animal traces from ibex and bovine species, suggesting that they were moving in groups of adults and offspring.
Fossils of elephants and oryx bones were also discovered.
“Discoveries such as these help us to contextualise the kingdom’s history, allowing us to better understand the journey of our forebears from ancient civilisation to where we are today. The kingdom boasts some of the region’s richest heritage spanning thousands of years, and this discovery demonstrates what can be learned from Saudi Arabia’s diverse landscape,” said Dr Jasir Alherbish, chief executive of the Heritage Commission during a press conference.
“A team of highly qualified Saudi archaeologists and researchers worked alongside our international partners to uncover, document and preserve these previously unearthed treasures. We hope that such discoveries will inspire the next generation of Saudi historians and archaeologists, as we continue to uncover more of the kingdom’s untold history.”