Giant carvings of camels in northern Arabia are 6,000 older than previously thought

In 2018, in the Saudi Arabian desert, researchers found life-size carved images of camels, horses and donkeys on three rocky spurs. A total of 21 figures were found. Now, a new analysis has shown that these images are about four times older than originally thought and date back to the Neolithic era.

Life-size carvings of camels found in northern Arabia date back to the Stone Age

According to Live Science, scientists initially assumed that these carvings were about 2,000 years old. This is because they were very similar to the rock carvings found in the famous stone city of Petra in Jordan.

However, in a new study published in the Journal of Archaeological Science Reports, scientists have revealed their true age – about 8,000 years. These carvings not only predate the Egyptian pyramids or Stonehenge, but surpass the Mesopotamian ziggurats, making them some of the oldest surviving large three-dimensional objects.

Scientists have used several dating methods to find out the age of relief images at the Camel Camp in the north of the Arabian Peninsula. X-ray fluorescence spectrometry has been used to measure plaque on stones, and splinter fragments have been studied using luminescence dating, which shows how long they have been exposed to radiation on the surface. Scientists have also used radiocarbon dating techniques and the assessment of weathering and erosion patterns.

“The Neolithic communities have repeatedly returned to the Camel Camp, which means that its symbolism and function have been preserved for many generations. Preserving the site is now key, as is future research in the region to determine if other similar sites may have existed. We have little time to preserve the Camel Camp and other potential historic sites as damage will increase and more landforms will be lost every year due to erosion, ”the scientists write.

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