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Study Says Camel Carvings Found in Saudi Arabia Older Than UK Stonehenge, Pyramids

Earlier, the age of these camel carvings was calculated based on similar artworks found in the famous archaeological site in Jordan. (Image: AFP)

Earlier, the age of these camel carvings was calculated based on similar artworks found in the famous archaeological site in Jordan. (Image: AFP)

The researchers used advanced technologies like luminescence radiocarbon dating and X-ray analysis to study the camel carvings.

Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History have made fascinating updates to a two-year-old study of the camel carving found in Northern Saudi Arabia in 2016-17.

The research, which was conducted in 2018, suggested that the camel carvings, located in the province of Al Jouf, were around 2,000 years old. However, according to the new study, the age of these carvings is estimated to be roughly 8,000 years old. The findings are mind-boggling as the camel carvings are even older than the Stonehenge of England, and the Pyramids of Giza, which dates back to 5,000 and 4,500 years old, reported BBC.

The camel relics, when found, were highly eroded yet provided some clear insights into the intricacies at some places. The researchers used advanced technologies like luminescence radiocarbon dating and X-ray analysis and studied the erosion patterns and tool marks to validate the results. The team of 14 also included researchers from the Saudi Ministry of Culture, King Saud University, and the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, France.

“These carvings are absolutely stunning. Even though what we witness today is highly eroded with many panels destroyed, but these relics must’ve been absolutely mind-blowing in the original condition,” Dr. Maria Guagnin, the lead author of the study, told The National.

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Earlier, the age of these camel carvings was calculated based on similar artworks found in the famous archaeological site in Jordan, Petra. According to the old study, the period that the carvings belonged to was put in the Nabataean period. But, the new study has now certified the carvings as the world’s oldest human-made relic.

“We can now associate the Camel Site to a period in prehistory when the pastoral population in Arabia created rock artworks and large stone structures called Mustatil. This particular site was a part of a broader pattern of activity, where various nomadic tribes came together to establish and mark symbolic places,” said the authors in a press release.

Another detail that surprised the researchers was the height at which these carvings were created. They believe that seeing how high these camels were carved into the stone, these pastoral people must’ve created scaffoldings to make this happen.

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first published:September 18, 2021, 16:36 IST