RIYADH: Architects working at a site to the south of AlUla governorate have excavated a 200,000-year-old hand ax, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Sunday.
The discovery, announced by the Royal Commission for AlUla, was made as a team of archaeologists, led by Dr. Can and Gizem Aksoy from TEOS Heritage, were exploring the site at Qarah for evidence of ancient human life in the area.
Qarah was one of the most important residential areas in the Arabian Peninsula during the first centuries of Islam and is dotted with sites of historical and archaeological interest.
The 51-cm-long ax is made of soft basalt with a sharpened edge on each side. It is thought to date back to the Paleolithic Age, which ended about 10,000 years ago.
The TEOS team have discovered more than a dozen similar stone tools in the area and research is ongoing to find out more about how they were made and used.
The Royal Commission, which appointed TEOS, is supervising 11 other archaeological projects across AlUla and Khaybar. The work is part of a broader plan to develop the region as a cultural heritage site.