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New discovery in Saudi Arabia: domestication of horses in the Arabian Peninsula 9000 years ago

New discovery in Saudi Arabia: domestication of horses in the Arabian Peninsula 9000 years ago ( HRH Prince Sultan bin Salman, President of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA), submitted an important archeological discovery to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah, of rare antiques during recent excavations, which revealed that people in the Arabian Peninsula domesticated horses 9,000 years ago.

The SCTA President stated: “These antiquities proved that [the] Al-Maqar site, in the heart of Saudi Arabia, was the oldest place in the world so far with people domesticated in horses, in addition these artifacts also manifested the cultural activities of people in the region during the Stone Age."

Prince Sultan highlighted SCTA's efforts to excavate antiquities in various parts of the country, in addition to protecting them in a scientific manner. He also revealed plans to establish new museums in various parts of KSA: “The results of the excavation show that taking care of horses has been an old tradition inherited by Muslims from their forefathers. There is no wonder that during the time of Prophet Mohammed and the Caliphs, special areas had been allocated for breeding and rearing horses."

Professor Ali Al-Ghabban, Vice President of SCTA for antiquities and museums, said the SCTA began excavations in Al-Maqar after receiving information about the area from a Saudi last year, adding Saudi and international experts took part in the excavation.

Professor Ghabban added that DNA and C-14 tests proved that the artifacts found during the excavation were 9,000 years old. He said the team had found 80 valuable artifacts from the area. Previous excavations showed people in Central Asia took care of horses 5,000 years ago.

MEDIA CONTACT: Najla A. Al-Khalifah (MP), Email:

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