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Human bone believed to be 90,000 years old found in Saudi Arabia

Archaeologists have discovered the oldest human bone ever found in Saudi Arabia, digging up part of a middle finger dating back 90,000 years.

Human bone believed to be 90,000 years old found in Saudi Arabia
Archaeologists in Saudi Arabia believe they have discovered the Middle East’s oldest human bone during an excavation. 
The bone is the middle section of the middle finger of a human who was thought to live 90,000 years ago 
 [Credit: SCTH]
The discovery was part of a joint project begun in 2012 by scientists from Saudi Arabia and the UK’s Oxford University.

The discovery was announced late on Wednesday by the head of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities, Ali Ghabban.

“The Green Arabia project has studied sites at ancient lakes in the Nafud desert,” Ghabban said, referring to an area in the north of the Arabian Peninsula.

Ghabban said that excavations at the Taas al-Ghadha site, close to the northwestern city of Tayma, suggested human habitation stretching back up to 325,000 years.

Human bone believed to be 90,000 years old found in Saudi Arabia
The oldest bone from an early species of human is a jaw bone found in Ethiopia in 2015. It is dated to
2.8 million years ago, and predates other fossils in the lineage by 400,000 years 
[Credit: AFP/Getty Images]
The bone that was discovered during the dig is the middle part of a middle finger belonging to a human being who lived some 90,000 years ago, making it the oldest physical trace of human habitation discovered in the area.

Al-Arabiya, a state-owned Saudi newspaper, reported in its English edition that the bone was the “world’s oldest”.

However, the oldest bone belonging to a member of the Homo genus, the lineage that ultimately led to modern human beings, is a jaw bone discovered in Ethiopia last March that is believed to be around 2.8 million years old.

The Green Arabia project, established in April 2012 and set to conclude next year, looks at how the various phases of climate change over millennia in the area that is now Saudi Arabia have affected human settlement and migration patterns.

Human bone believed to be 90,000 years old found in Saudi Arabia
Scientists have also studied ancient rock art in the deserts of modern-day Saudi Arabia 
as part of the joint venture [Credit: Palaeodeserts Project]
Oxford University is a “key partner” of the state-run Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities, according to the project’s promotional material.

The venture, whose full name is Green Arabia, The Palaeodeserts Project, has also looked at ancient rock art found in Saudi Arabia as well as fossils from vertebrates that lived around 700,000 years ago.

Source: Middle East Eye [August 19, 2016]

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  1. science better study it quickly before it is destroyed as a non islamic item

    1. Yup, ISIS is planning on its destruction as you read this ;-)


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