Unleashing Curiosity, Igniting Discovery - The Science Fusion

Researchers exploring the Umm Jirsan lava tube system in Saudi Arabia

Inexperienced Arabia Venture

Archaeologists have discovered proof of human habitation inside lava tubes for the primary time, within the deserts of northern Saudi Arabia.

Lava tubes are caves that kind throughout a volcanic eruption. The floor of a river of lava cools and solidifies, whereas sizzling molten rock continues to movement beneath it. Ultimately, lava drains out of the tube, abandoning a tunnel.

Mathew Stewart at Griffith College in Brisbane, Australia, and his colleagues excavated a trench inside Umm Jirsan. At 1.5 kilometres in size, it’s the greatest lava tube in Saudi Arabia. The researchers found animal bones, stone instruments and pottery stretching again no less than 7000 years and presumably as a lot as 10,000 years.

Stewart and his group have labored within the area for greater than 15 years and have beforehand discovered quite a few stone buildings on the floor, confirming human habitation. Nevertheless, the desert’s sizzling, arid local weather has prompted natural materials to interrupt down, making it troublesome so far.

On the floor, the panorama is a “sizzling, dry and flat basalt desert”, says Stewart. “However when you’re down within the lava tube, it’s a lot cooler. It’s very sheltered and it might have been an incredible place of refuge.”

“It’s reworking our understanding of the prehistory of the Arabian peninsula,” he says.

In elements of the underground community at Umm Jirsan, the researchers additionally discovered human bones, however these are thought to have been dragged in by hyenas.

In different lava tubes close by, Stewart and his colleagues discovered rock artwork, together with representations of home sheep and goats that might have been made by “cultural contemporaries” of the teams utilizing the lava tubes as a refuge, he says.

Mike Morley at Flinders College in Adelaide, Australia, describes the lava tubes as being like “prefabricated exercise areas”.

“As a scientist who works primarily in caves, I’m excited that we’ve one other kind of cave system being utilized by previous human populations,” says Morley. “These finds characterize a treasure trove of archaeological info for Arabia, a large area that has solely just lately been investigated systematically for prehistoric archaeology.”

Lava tubes have additionally been advised as doable locations for people to shelter on the moon and Mars.


  • archaeology/
  • historic people
Share this article
Shareable URL
Prev Post
Next Post
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Read next
The primary members of our species to achieve China may need entered the area from the north Esteban De Armas /…
An historic bronze hand discovered at Irulegi in northern Spain Juantxo Egana Inscriptions discovered on a…
Synthetic intelligence went mainstream in 2023 — it was a very long time coming but has an extended approach to…