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120,000-year-old footprints discovered in Saudi Arabia

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Saudi Arabia on Wednesday revealed that human and animal footprints dating back 120,000 years have been found in the province of Tabuk in the north west of the country.

The incredible archaeological discoveries, which were discovered in an old, dry lake, were unveiled by the Ministry of Culture’s Heritage Commission during a press conference held in Riyadh today.

Saudi archaeologists discovered the footprints of man, camels, elephants, wild animals and predators around the ancient dry lake.

The #Saudi Heritage Commission has just announced the discovery of human & animal footprints -including elephants – in the north western region of Tabuk that date back 120,000 years ! https://t.co/2KYupzvJsU

This find was made possible through the joint efforts of the Kingdom and international excavation teams.

Dr. Jasser Al Herbish, chief executive of the Heritage Commission, said: “The team identified footprint traces of seven humans, 107 camels, 43 elephants and other animal traces from ibex, deer and bovine families, which were moving in groups of adults and offspring.”

He added that he team also found 233 fossils of elephant and gazelle bones as well as evidence of the existence of predators in the site.

“This archaeological discovery represents the first scientific evidence about the oldest existence of human life in Arabia and offers a rare glimpse into the natural environment and biodiversity in the region”, Al Herbish said.

According to Arab News, in 2018 an archaeological team discovered the 85,000-year-old remains of an ancient man in the Nefud desert on the outskirts of Tabuk. 

The Saudi Commission for Tourism and Heritage said it was one of the most important discoveries of the year.