Dogs coexisted with humans in Saudi Arabia 4,300 years ago

Canine bones found in Al Ula dig alongside those of humans

26 March, 12:20

    (ANSAmed) - NAPLES, MARCH 26 - Archeaologists have found the oldest evidence yet of coexistence between men and dogs in the Arabian peninsula at a burial site that started being used 6,000 years ago in the Al Ula province in Saudi Arabia.

    The National reported that the the bones had been found in a province about a 1,000 kilometres from the current capital, Riyadh, where the ancient city Hegra was located.

    Hegra was the first UNESCO World Heritage Site of the country and was part of the Nabatean Kingdom, known also for having built Jordan's Petra.

    The archaeologists found the remains of a dog buried in a cemetery dating back 4,300 years.

    "Our discovery is creating a paradigm shift in the way we view periods like the Neolithic era in the Middle East," Melissa Kennedy, assistant director of the Aerial Archaeological Survey in Al Ula, told The National.

    The team responsible for the discovery includes Saudi, Australian, and European researchers who aim to show to "how important it was to the development of mankind across the Middle East," said Hugh Thomas, director of Aerial Archaeology in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

    The team uncovered 26 dog bones and 11 human bones from six adults, a teenager and four children.

    Laura Stroulin, the team's animal archaeologist, was able to prove the animal bones found were from a dog by analysing one bone in particular, from the front left leg.

    The fact that the dog was buried with its owner indicated the great importance placed on the animal, the SPA said. (ANSAmed).

    © Copyright ANSA - All rights reserved