Archaeologists found some life-size camels in 2018. This wouldn’t be unusual, but the fact that they were carved into rocks in Saudi Arabia made them more than interesting. At first, they thought that the camels were some 2000 years old but it seems as if they are much older.

The site of the camel sculptures is thought to be as old as 8000 years. In other words, these sculptures have been around since before Stonehenge or even the great pyramid. Researchers wrote a paper on the subject and posted it in the Journal of Archaeological Science.

Photo: flickr/Richard Motel

When they found the camel sculptures, they were of interest but a team of 14 scientists from Europe and the Middle East took a closer look and were able to pin down the age a little more accurately. In order to do so, they x-rayed and use luminescence dating of the rock. Some of the legs of the camels are still visible.

Another way that they dated the statues was to examine the visible tool marks. There is a lot of erosion seen in the tool marks and there is even evidence that may show that they were re-carved over the years. It seems as if the site had some significant importance to those who made the carvings and to their descendants.

Photo: Pixabay/Peter Holmes

Saudi Arabia may be dry at this point but some 8000 years ago, it was grassland. Many people who lived thousands of years ago cut the stone reliefs of animals, but the camel site was not given the attention that it probably should have been given.

Camels were still wild creatures at the time and were hunted by those who lived in the area. The relief even shows that the camels have slightly swollen necks and bellies, so it seems as if they were in mating season. This may have something to do with fertility, but confirming that possibility has been lost to time.

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The camel statues may have been used as a meeting area for the semi-nomadic people who lived at that time. There is not much that is known about the camels or their purpose, but it is a part of our ancient history that still exists, thousands of years after it was created.