Footprints 120,000 Years Old Discovered In Saudi

Discovered footprints of elephant (left) and camel (right) in the area (Image: Stewart et al., 2020)

Researchers have discovered hundreds of ancient footprints in Saudi Arabia likely 120,000 years old. While almost all the footprints are of various animals, the remaining few have amazed the researchers. Because they are of homo sapiens! Which proves that human touched the land of Arab long before than we generally knew so far.

The discovery was made during an expedition mission around the Alathar lake in Nefad desert in Saudi Arabia. Total 376 footprints became visible after the area was exposed due to sediment erosion.

Upon examining the footprints, experts say that they are around 120,000 years old. Most of the marks are of animals like horses, camels, elephants. This also surprised the scientists. Because previously it was believed that these creatures extinct from the once green and lush Arab peninsula about 400,000 years ago. But now it is known that they remained there much longer period than it was previously thought.

However among those 376 footprints discovered in the area, 7 have surprised the researchers the most as they are from human feet. Scientists are assuming that they are from the last interglacial period. During that era, humidity of this region started to become more tolerable resulting mass migration from other surrounding areas. Human and animals sometimes in search of water, sometimes for more comfortable, better weather and living conditions reached and spread across this region.

Scientists working on human arrival and spreading around the globe claim that homo sapiens’ first appearance on this planet happened in Africa. From there they gradually moved towards Europe, Asia and Arab peninsula. An upper jaw found in Israel few years back suggested that it was around 180,000 years old. Which proved that human arrival in Arab region from the Levant was completed minimum 180,000 years ago. Levant region is comprised with today’s Israel, Palestine territory, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. Geographically it is located in between Africa and Arab.

Also a human skull discovered in Greece dated as 210,000 years old shows that human put their footprints on Europe atleast that much time ago. Comparing to that, the homo sapiens appeared in nearer Arab territory much later than the other regions. However upon finding the new 376 footprints in the area, it is now understood that our ancestors were in Arab territory long before than we have known by now.