Thursday, July 07, 2005

Ancient finds in Saudi Arabia?   posted by Razib @ 7/07/2005 05:00:00 PM

Stone Age Artifacts, Carvings Discovered

The Ministry of Education announced yesterday discoveries showing the existence of Stone Age settlements in western and central Saudi Arabia. The discoveries near Wadi Fatimah in the Western Region and Wadi Saffaqah in the Central Region include stone carvings and other artifacts. According to a statement by the antiquities and museums department of the ministry, the findings are estimated to date back to 750,000 B.C.

I'm skeptical about the 750,000 B.C. date...but the important point is the possibility of "carvings" and what not, since it is considered indicative of "symbolic thinking." Another note is that in many ways western Arabia can be biogeographically considered part of Africa, and during interglacial optimums a great deal of African fauna, including homonids, likely pushed their way into the southern periphery of Eurasia. Finally, the fact that these finds are on the homeground of a Salafi-Wahhabi ideological state shows the schizophenria that modernity tends to elicit is ostentatiously 'traditional' soceities.