Saudi Arabia announced the discovery of 120,000-year-old footprints of humans and predators in the northern region of Tabuk.
The Ministry of Culture, represented by the Heritage Commission, disclosed that a joint team, comprising of Saudi and international archeological experts, made the discovery of footprints of humans, elephants and predatory animals around an ancient, dry lake on the outskirts of the Tabuk region, dating back to more than 120,000 years from now.
Dr. Jasir Al-Herbish, president of the Heritage Commission, announced this during a press conference, saying that this new and important archaeological discovery represents the first scientific evidence of the oldest human habitation in the Arabian Peninsula.
“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, in addition to about 233 fossils that represent the skeletal remains of elephants and oryx,” he said.
The Saudi and international research team have been working for more than 10 years on multi-disciplinary field research. The project was called “The Green Arabian Peninsula”, which covered different desert areas, around volcanic hotspots, and near some coasts in Tabuk, Najran, Riyadh, Hail, and Madinah.
The current evidence strongly supports the assertions of the existence of “Green Arabia” in the past as there are environmental records and archaeological sites dating back 500,000 years.
There were rivers and lakes throughout the Arabian Peninsula, which led to population spreads and expansions, and this confirms that the peninsula was a major crossroads between Africa and the rest of Eurasia throughout prehistoric times.