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7000 years old… Learn about the oldest stone traps in Saudi Arabia

By : Marwa Mahmoud

A scientific team found stone installations in the Nafud desert in Saudi Arabia, which are animal traps that are among the oldest stone traps in the world, dating back more than 7,000 years.

The Saudi Heritage Authority reported that the findings of the team’s research indicated that the northern regions of the Kingdom had undergone cultural changes some 5000 years ago. As demonstrated by the development of large squares, which included hundreds of large stone structures, a significant cultural transition and a civilizational shift in the region.

It pointed out that this scientific work, is part of the field work for Green Arabian Peninsula project led by the Heritage Authority with participation of the German Max Planck Institute, the University of Oxford, and King Saud University.

According to the Saudi Press Agency “SPA”, the scientific field work carried out by the team dealt with the beginnings of the development of stone installations within their archaeological and environmental context, especially the rectangles, which were described as animal traps.

Also, three quarters of these stone rectangles are built on hills or plantations, but most of them were built around ancient lakes or swamps, while some rectangles were built in the plains and around the shores of the lakes.

Most of the terraces appear in huge sizes, some of which are more than 600 meters long, 10 meters wide and one meter high. Rectangles are often associated with a “bull’s eye”, graves in the form of “earring”, graves in the form of “key entrance”, and stone circles.

The research team has found a variety of cultural materials at the site, including two axes: one inside one of the rectangles of stone and the other outside, as well as pieces of opaque quartz near some rectangular stone constructions, a sandstone quarry next to one of the rectangles, and other colored stones that may have been used for religious ritual practice.

The relative rectangle chronology showed that the findings of the research matched the results of previous studies in the Kingdom, dating from 5000 BC to 2000 BC. Although the results of the date analysis of the charcoal samples showed that they date from (5052 to 4942) years BC during the Neolithic period, and (2930 to 2770) years BC during the Bronze Age.