Over thousand artefacts discovered in Saudi Arabia

Archaeologists discovered more than 1000 stone artefacts, some of which may be up to 1.76 million years old, have been discovered at Wadi Dabsa, Southwest Saudi Arabia.

Survey at Wadi Dabsa (by Andrew Shuttleworth)

Archaeologists of Durham University have conducted a survey of this part of the Arabian Peninsula as part of a larger project of analysing landscape and archaeological changes in Africa and Asia in order to better understand how humans evolved and dispersed out of Africa. During the field work a significant number of artefacts, such as stone tools has been found, including the remains of hand axes, cleavers, scrapers, projectile points, piercers, and hammer stone. One of the hand axes is unusually heavy, weighing just under 3.6 kilogrammes. According to the researchers many of the artefacts are Acheulean in manufacture and date between 1.76 million years and 100000 years ago.

Handaxes being among the finds (by Andrew Shuttleworth & Frederick Foulds)

Frederick Foulds, lead author of the study, states that the researchers hope to date the tufa and basalt flows within the site, which are associated with the large stone artefact assemblage recovered from within the wadi, and once the team has more-precise dates for the artefacts, the scientists may be able to determine what type of hominins made the tools. This will help to answer how the changes in climate affected the dispersal of hominins from out of Africa and whether the geography of the Wadi Dabsa region may have created a refuge from these changes.

(after Live Science, Andrew Shuttleworth & Frederick Foulds)

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