- The sculptures, some incomplete, were carved into the rocks in an area that they call ‘Camel Site’
- Researchers were able to identify a dozen or so reliefs representing camels, horses and donkeys
Archaeologists found around a dozen carvings, featuring animals such as camels, horses and donkeys that are estimated to be around 2,000 years old.
According to Gizmodo, researchers from France’s Centre Nationnal de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) and the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage surveyed the site during three brief visits in March 2016 and March 2017.
Their discovery, which was published in the science journal Antiquity, details about a dozen realistic impressions of several animals carved into the rock; the first discovery of the lifesize camels and horses carved in the Arabian Peninsula.
— Gizmodo (@Gizmodo) February 14, 2018
Its desert setting and proximity to caravan routes suggest ‘Camel Site’ was a stopover – where travelers could rest, or a site of worship.
The archaeologists studying the weather-beaten “Camel Site” in Al Jawf, a province in northwest Saudi Arabia near Jordan, suggest the sculptures are a facet of a broader Arabian tradition that was probably influenced by the Parthians (ancient Iranians) and nomadic Nabateans from preceding centuries.