Interesting Facts

Saudi Arabia camel carvings dated to prehistoric era

Archaeologists were shocked to discover that a series of camels carved into desert rock faces in north-western Saudi Arabia are actually prehistoric, dating from 7,000-8,000 years ago - before either the Pyramids of Giza or Stonehenge were built.

According to a study, a group of camel sculptures etched into Saudi Arabian rock faces are probably the world’s oldest examples of large-scale animal reliefs.

Researchers calculated that the carvings were made approximately 2,000 years ago when they were first found in 2018.
Their resemblance to the reliefs at Jordan’s well-known historic city of Petra served as the basis for this.

But according to a recent study, the camels are between 7,000 and 8,000 years old.
It is difficult for researchers to determine the exact age of rock sculptures. For example, there is frequently no organic matter to sample, unlike cave paintings. This size of rock art is also uncommon in the area.

To establish a new date for the sculptures’ creation, the researchers examined erosion patterns, examined tool marks, and examined animal bones discovered at the site. Their results were published in the Journal of Archaeological Science.

Given their age, they are even more ancient than sites like Stonehenge (which dates back 5,000 years) and the Giza Pyramids (4,500 years). They even predate the domestication of camels, which sparked the region’s economic growth.
Saudi Arabia didn’t look like the deserts it is today; instead, it was made up of grassy plains dotted with lakes when it was first formed.

Although the purpose of the camel sculptures is unknown, researchers have hypothesized that they may have served as a gathering place for wandering tribes. They also noted the difficulty of making such works thousands of years ago. Many of the reliefs are high above the ground, meaning their carvers would have had to build scaffolding to create them.

The sculptures were first found three years ago in northern Saudi Arabia
Despite the damage the sculptures retain some intricacy
They have been dated to the Neolithic era, the final period of the Stone Age
Saudi Arabia was then inhabited by hunters and herders
This small scale, 2D depiction of camels is more typical of the kind found in the region
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