Study: The Camel site in northern Saudi Arabia is the oldest carving site in the world


A study conducted by a joint Saudi international team showed new scientific results about the history of the site of the camel in Al-Jawf region “Northern Kingdom”. and two equids, and another unidentified carving) may be the oldest site in the world for carving life-size anthropomorphic animals.

The scientific results indicated that the site dates back to the Neolithic period between 5200-5600 BC, and is characterized by a group of life-size models of camels and animals of the equine family, and differs in the way they are implemented from the rock art common throughout the Kingdom, it is significantly prominent from the rock The archaeological probes that were excavated at the site showed the presence of a distinctive stone industry, as well as the remains of animal bones.

The scientific team, consisting of researchers from the Heritage Authority, King Saud University, the French Research Center, Free University of Berlin, Oxford University and others, used a number of scientific methods in order to know the history of the site with high accuracy, by analyzing the tools used in sculpture and studying the effects of natural erosion and decomposition factors, in addition to a device Multispectral radioactive analysis and thermal glare method, where knowledge of the history of the site is one of the biggest challenges faced by the scientific team.

The scientific results indicated the great efforts that were made in sculpting these anthropomorphic animals, and perhaps a group of sculptors worked to implement them over different periods of time, and evidence of this is the different sculpting techniques used, as examples were found indicating the maintenance of carved shapes and sometimes sculpting new parts to be alternative. For parts damaged by time factors, the team was able to trace the sculpting lines on the rocks, although some parts were affected by natural erosion factors, and on the other hand, some fallen parts of the sculpture were found and returned to their place.

The results of the study of the site showed that it passed through three time stages, represented in the stage of carrying out sculpture works over a long period, followed by a stage indicating the absence of human activity and the abandonment of the site, and then a third and final stage in which the carved models began to be damaged and some of their parts fell due to natural factors, and the stone industry belongs to the site. To the period of the end of the Neolithic period, which cannot be completely certain that it is contemporaneous with the period of carving animal models at the site.

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