Dr. Jasser bin Sulaiman Al-Harbash, CEO of the Heritage Commission, announced that a joint Saudi international team discovered footprints of humans, elephants and predators around an ancient dry lake on the outskirts of Tabuk, dating back more than 120,000 years, in a press conference held today in Riyadh.

The announcement confirms that this significant archaeological discovery is the first scientific evidence of the oldest human habitation in the Arabian Peninsula, which provides a rare glimpse into the living conditions of humans in this region during their travels and settlement.

During the conference, he explained that the results of archaeological survey identified footprint traces of seven humans, camels, elephants, and other animal traces from ibex and bovine species, in addition to around 233 fossils of elephants and oryx bone remains.

Al-Harbash has presented pictures of the discovery which reflects the rich history of the Arabian Peninsula and its great civilizational contribution to mankind, praising the attention and support given by the Minister of Culture and Chairman of the Board of Directors to the archaeological excavation projects in the Kingdom.

He has stressed that such discoveries highlight the Kingdom’s development in the field of archaeological findings through highly qualified Saudi competencies collaborating with universities, government bodies, and research centers worldwide to perform excavation works in various regions of the Kingdom.

He indicated that the diverse forms of historical monuments are an intrinsic component of heritage activities that have four paths: monuments, urban heritage, handicrafts, and tangible heritage. Further, Al-Harbash assured that Heritage Commission will build its activities on successful achievements in the field of archaeology and will strive to develop the sector activities and expand its scientific, research and awareness activities.

As revealed by Al-Harbash, the Heritage Commission is working on rehabilitating archaeological sites to start hosting visitors, organizing archaeological exhibitions inside and outside the Kingdom, in addition to preparing and publishing archaeological research that includes informational activities, to be in line with the commission’s efforts to promote national heritage locally and internationally.