Research reveals signs of Acheulean groups in Arabian Peninsula 200k years ago

Research reveals signs of Acheulean groups in Arabian Peninsula 200k years ago
The climatic studies of the Arabian Peninsula showed a rainy climate in the central region 190-240,000 years ago and 75-130,000 years ago, which, in turn, led to the formation of several networks of rivers, valleys and vegetation that contributed to improving the living conditions of human groups, making Saffaqah the largest Acheulean site in the Arabian Peninsula, located at the confluence between the tributaries of Wadi Al-Batin and Wadi Al-Sahba. (Photos/SPA)
Updated 01 December 2018

Research reveals signs of Acheulean groups in Arabian Peninsula 200k years ago

Research reveals signs of Acheulean groups in Arabian Peninsula 200k years ago
  • Recent work based on archaeological discoveries suggest that the earliest man inhabited Southwest Asia

JEDDAH: A study of archaeological sites in the Arabian Peninsula has shown that the Acheulean civilization had one of the longest lasting tool-making traditions in prehistory, according to research published in Scientific Reports magazine.

The research, which commenced in 2014, is the first of its kind to employ scientific methods to examine the history of an Acheulean site. It is part of the Green Arabia project implemented by the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) in partnership with the German Max Planck Society, the University of Oxford, the Saudi Geological Survey, and King Saudi University in Riyadh.

The study focused on the re-evaluation of the Saffaqah site and its archaeological layers using modern techniques and was conducted by experts in prehistoric studies and the ancient environment.

It also revealed signs confirming that Acheulean groups inhabited the site about 200,000 years ago, which is evidence of the most recent Acheulean territory in Southwest Asia.

The results of the study revealed the changes in human behavior in the ancient world and the natural obstacles our ancestors encountered during their immigration from Africa.

Moreover, recent work based on archaeological discoveries suggest that the earliest man inhabited Southwest Asia.

According to the aforementioned study, the Saffaqah archaeological site is known for its advanced stone tool manufacture, including stone axes and large fragments.

The first scientific study of the site took place during the 1980s under the supervision of the Department of Antiquities and Museums at the time, and was conducted by Professor Norman Whalen, of Texas State University, and a number of Saudi and Arab researchers, with the scientific participation of the Department of Archaeology at King Saud University, represented by Dr. Ghanem Wahida.

The first research in Saffaqah showed that the stone tools found in the archaeological site are around 200,000 years old. Their age was identified using uranium-thorium dating.

The climatic studies of the Arabian Peninsula showed a rainy climate in the central region 190-240,000 years ago and 75-130,000 years ago which, in turn, led to the formation of several networks of rivers, valleys and vegetation. This contributed to improvements in the living conditions of human groups, making Saffaqah the largest Acheulean site in the Arabian Peninsula, located at the confluence of the tributaries of Wadi Al-Batin and Wadi Al-Sahba.

The latest research showed that Saffaqah contains seven archaeological layers, some of which contain Acheulean stone tools. One of the layers contains stone tools in their original place unaffected by natural erosion.

The study confirmed that the similarity in the quality of stone tools found in Saffaqah and a number of undocumented Acheulean sites in the Arabian Peninsula indicate that these peoples were present during related periods of time, specifically in Wadi Fatimah and Jiba.

The comparative study showed a significant similarity between the stone tools manufactured in Saffaqah and those manufactured in Acheulean sites inhabited during a later period in Ethiopia and Eastern Africa, but differing from those found the Acheulean sites in the Levant.

The scientific study conducted by the Saudi research team also highlighted the possibility of a connection between the civilizations of the human groups of the Acheulean Era in Saffaqah and the ancient Middle Stone Age groups.

Dr. Abdullah bin Mohammed Al-Sharekh, head of the Saudi research team and faculty member of the Department of Archaeology at King Saud University, said Saudi Arabia has hundreds of prehistoric sites that can provide us with valuable information about human groups that inhabited the region and how they adapted to the prevailing climate and benefited from the natural resources available in their environment.


Saudi foreign minister congratulates Algerian counterpart on assuming his post

Saudi foreign minister congratulates Algerian counterpart on assuming his post
Updated 11 min 29 sec ago

Saudi foreign minister congratulates Algerian counterpart on assuming his post

Saudi foreign minister congratulates Algerian counterpart on assuming his post

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan made a phone call on Monday to the his Algerian counterpart Ramdane Lamamra, during which he congratulated him on assuming his post.
Prince Faisal said he looked forward to working with him in strengthening relations between the two countries, the Kingdom’s foreign ministry said.
During the call, they reviewed bilateral relations and ways of enhancing them to achieve the interests of both countries, in addition to discussing regional and international developments of common concern.


4 Saudis arrested for distributing drugs in Qassim, Tabuk

4 Saudis arrested for distributing drugs in Qassim, Tabuk
Updated 31 min 12 sec ago

4 Saudis arrested for distributing drugs in Qassim, Tabuk

4 Saudis arrested for distributing drugs in Qassim, Tabuk
  • Initial legal measures have been taken against them and they have been referred to the Public Prosecution

RIYADH: Saudi authorities on Monday arrested four nationals for trying to distribute a large quantity of drugs.
“Security monitoring of the activities of criminal networks that promote narcotics resulted in the arrest of four citizens in the Qassim and Tabuk regions for promoting narcotic substances,” said Maj. Mohammed Al-Nujaidi, spokesman for the General Directorate of Narcotics Control.
He added that officials seized 75,855 amphetamine tablets, 38 kg of hashish, 9,160 pills subject to the regulation of medical circulation, 74 grams of shabu (methamphetamine), a firearm, ammunition and cash.
Al-Nujaidi said the initial legal measures have been taken against the four nationals, and they have been referred to the Public Prosecution.


Saudi Arabia announces 10 more COVID-19 deaths, 27.3m vaccines given to date

The total number of recoveries in the Kingdom increased to 508,994 after 1,620 more patients recovered from the virus. (SPA/File Photo)
The total number of recoveries in the Kingdom increased to 508,994 after 1,620 more patients recovered from the virus. (SPA/File Photo)
Updated 02 August 2021

Saudi Arabia announces 10 more COVID-19 deaths, 27.3m vaccines given to date

The total number of recoveries in the Kingdom increased to 508,994 after 1,620 more patients recovered from the virus. (SPA/File Photo)
  • A total of 8,259 people have succumbed to the virus in the Kingdom so far
  • 5 mosques reopened in 3 regions after being sterilized after some people tested positive for COVID-19

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia announced 10 deaths from COVID-19 and 1,063 new infections on Monday.

Of the new cases, 244 were recorded in Makkah, 217 in Riyadh, 152 in the Eastern Province, 108 in Asir, 88 in Jazan, 70  in Madinah, 45 in Najran, 44 in Hail, 20 in the Northern Borders region, 18 in Tabuk, 17 in Al-Baha, and five in Al-Jouf.

The Ministry of Health confirmed 1,063 new cases reported in the Kingdom in the previous 24 hours, meaning 527, people have now contracted the disease. 
Of the total number of cases, 10,624 remain active and 1,3434 in critical condition.

Of the new cases, 244 were recorded in Makkah, 217 in Riyadh, 152 in the Eastern Province, 108 in Asir, 88 in Jazan, 70  in Madinah, 45 in Najran, 44 in Hail, 20 in the Northern Borders region, 18 in Tabuk, 17 in Al-Baha, and five in Al-Jouf.

The health ministry also announced that 1,620 patients had recovered from COVID-19, bringing the total number of recoveries in the Kingdom to 527,877.
Over 27.3 million doses of a coronavirus vaccine have been administered in the Kingdom to date.

The ministry urged all students to quickly take the first dose of the vaccine so they may take the second dose before the start of the academic year.
The Ministry of Islamic Affairs reopened five mosques in three regions after temporarily evacuating and sterilizing them after some people tested positive for coronavirus, bringing the total number of mosques closed and reopened after being sterilized to 1,928 within 177 days.
The coronavirus pandemic has affected over 199 million people globally and the death toll has reached around 4.24 million.


Saudi Arabia to fine air passengers up to SR500k for COVID-19 travel ban breaches

Saudi Arabia to fine air passengers up to SR500k for COVID-19 travel ban breaches
Updated 02 August 2021

Saudi Arabia to fine air passengers up to SR500k for COVID-19 travel ban breaches

Saudi Arabia to fine air passengers up to SR500k for COVID-19 travel ban breaches
  • Similar penalties would also apply to operators or owners of the means of transportation

RIYADH: The Saudi Public Prosecution office has warned it will impose fines of up to SR500,000 ($133,323) on passengers breaching travel ban restrictions by boarding flights to countries hit by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Similar penalties would also apply to operators or owners of the means of transportation.

In a tweet on Sunday, officials added that severe punitive measures would be taken against travelers who failed to disclose they had visited any countries listed on the Kingdom’s COVID-19 travel ban list.


Saudi HR ministry launches tough measures for unvaccinated workers

A nurse speaks to a man before administering the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 coronavirus vaccine as part of a vaccination campaign by the Saudi health ministry, in Riyadh. (AFP file photo)
A nurse speaks to a man before administering the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 coronavirus vaccine as part of a vaccination campaign by the Saudi health ministry, in Riyadh. (AFP file photo)
Updated 02 August 2021

Saudi HR ministry launches tough measures for unvaccinated workers

A nurse speaks to a man before administering the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 coronavirus vaccine as part of a vaccination campaign by the Saudi health ministry, in Riyadh. (AFP file photo)
  • Authorities instruct all institutions to require proof of immunity against COVID-19 from employees

JEDDAH: Unvaccinated employees within the Saudi public, private, and nonprofit sectors will have their leave days deducted until they receive a COVID-19 jab, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development has warned.

The ministry issued a statement on Sunday clarifying procedures to deal with unvaccinated employees following the Ministry of Interior’s instruction for institutions to limit entry to vaccinated people after Aug 1.
The number of COVID-19 vaccines administered in Saudi Arabia has increased ahead of the deadline, with about 350,000 doses being administered per day, with a total vaccination rate of about 78 doses per 100 people in the Kingdom.
As a result, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development instructed all institutions in the Kingdom to require proof of immunity against COVID-19 from employees and workers, as approved by the Ministry of Health on the Tawakkalna mobile app.
The gradual plan to deal with unvaccinated employees begins with directing them to work remotely, according to the work need. In case remote work is not beneficial for the institution by Aug. 9, the employee will be granted leave deducted from their official leave balance.

HIGHLIGHT

The gradual plan to deal with unvaccinated employees begins with directing them to work remotely, according to the work need. In case remote work is not beneficial for the institution by Aug. 9, the employee will be granted leave deducted from their official leave balance.

As for the public sector, employees will consume their eligible leave days according to their legally approved conditions and requirements. However, if those requirements are not met or the employee has exhausted their leave balance, then absence days must be deducted from the balance of regular leaves or will be considered as an unpaid excused absence.
In the private and nonprofit sectors, employers will allow unvaccinated employees to go on official leave that will be calculated from their annual leave.
In case the annual leave balance is exhausted, employees will be granted unpaid leave, and their work contract will be considered suspended during the period once it exceeds 20 days, unless the two parties agree otherwise.
In case of disagreement with a worker, the employer shall deal with the consequences according to the procedures approved by law. The employee must be informed about decisions issued in this regard.
However, the ministry said that the new regulations do not apply to people who are excluded from taking the vaccine according to the Tawakkalna app.