Saudi Shura Council hear more about early Arabians

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Dr. Prince Khalid Abdullah Mohammad Moqrin Al-Meshari Al Saud (on left) examines ancient stone tool

Dr. Prince Khalid Abdullah Mohammad Moqrin Al-Meshari Al Saud and other members of the Saudi Shura Council visited Oxford to learn more about the work of the Palaeodeserts Project in Saudi Arabia. The Council members were fascinated to learn that far from being a desert, the region was once covered by lush vegetation and criss-crossed by rivers, providing rich hunting grounds for our ancestors.

The Council heard that varied disciplines in the Palaeodeserts team, including archaeology, palaeontology, geochronology and mapping, have come together to take a multidisciplinary look at the role played by the Arabian Peninsula in the movement of early humans out of Africa. Michael Petraglia described how the team have uncovered evidence of human occupation, including handaxes, arrowheads and Neolithic rock art, next to ancient lakes and rivers extending back thousands of years, challenging previously-held theories and illuminating the vital role played by the Arabian Peninsula in the exodus of humankind out of Africa.