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    Royal Commission for AlUla unveils 200,000-year-old hand ax discovery


    Nov 5, 2023

    Saudi Gazette report

    ALULA — The Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU) has disclosed the unearthing of a hand ax at the Qurh site in AlUla Governorate, dating back to the Paleolithic Age, surpassing 200,000 years in age.

    This robust tool, crafted from soft basalt stone and measuring 51.3 cm in length, exhibits characteristics indicative of cutting or chopping applications. Ongoing studies aim to precisely ascertain the tool’s intended use.

    Qurh, a site with historical significance from the early Islamic periods, stands as one of the Arabian Peninsula’s crucial urban locales, concealing a wealth of secrets and historical treasures.

    The discovery of this ancient tool is credited to a team of archaeologists from the heritage consultancy TEOS Heritage.

    Tasked with exploring the region surrounding Qurh, south of AlUla, for evidence of ancient human existence, the team had previously unearthed several archaeological findings from the early Islamic period.

    However, the hand ax discovery is hailed as a transformative chapter in the history of humanity both within and beyond the Arabian Peninsula.

    RCU currently oversees 11 specialized archaeological projects in AlUla and Khyber as part of its commitment to unravel the mysteries of ancient times.

    These endeavors align with the commission’s comprehensive development plan for AlUla, aiming to position it as a world-leading destination for natural and cultural heritage.

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