What Ancient Rock Art Reveals About A Wetter Arabia


Today, much of the Arabian Peninsula is sandy, dry and desolate. But in recent decades, some scientists have been collecting evidence revealing past periods of warm, wetter weather that periodically “greened” swaths of the peninsula, creating savanna-like environments similar to East Africa’s.

The last phase of humid weather is thought to have occurred between roughly 11,000 and 6,000 years ago before arid conditions returned and the desert advanced once more. Now, new research on animal images depicted in rock art from prehistoric humans in northwest Saudi Arabia is shedding light on the animals and people that once roamed the region and how they may have been affected by those changes in climate.

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