In the desert of Saudi Arabia, traces of a person were found. They are over 120,000 years old

Today, the Arabian Peninsula is characterized by extensive arid deserts that would

unfriendly to the first people and animals, onwhich they hunted. But research over the past decade has shown that this was not always the case - due to natural climatic changes, conditions here were greener and wetter during what is known as the last interglacial.

Arabia at the time was more like the semi-arid grasslands of the modern African savannah.

The first author of the article is Matthew Stewart of the InstituteChemical Ecology Max Planck, Germany, in an interview with AFP, explained that the traces were found during his fieldwork in 2017 after the erosion of overlying sediments on an ancient lake called "Alatar" (meaning "footprint" in Arabic) ...

The prints were dated using Stimulated Optical Luminescence - light penetrated the quartz grains and the scientists measured the amount of energy they emitted.

A total of seven of the hundreds discoveredThe prints were confidently identified as hominins, including four, which, given their distances from each other and their differences in size, were interpreted as two or three people traveling together.

The researchers claim that they belonged to anatomically modern humans.

“We know that people have visited this lakeat the same time as these animals, and, unusual for the area, there are no stone tools here, ”Stewart said, indicating that people have settled here for a longer period.

"It seems that these people were visiting the lake in search of water resources and just to forage at the same time as the animals" and probably hunt them as well. "

Elephants that became extinct in the neighboring Levant regionsome 400,000 years ago, would have been particularly attractive prey, and their presence also suggests the presence of other abundant resources of fresh water and greenery.

“The presence of large animals such as elephants andhippos, together with open grasslands and large water resources, may have made northern Arabia a particularly attractive destination for people traveling between Africa and Eurasia, ”concludes senior study author Michael Petraglia of the Max Planck Institute for Human History.

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