Remains of an extinct whale from 37 million years ago have now been discovered in some parts of northern Saudi Arabia.
The fossil discovery dates back to the Upper Eocene era, which began 100.5 million years ago and ended 66 million years ago, confirmed Eng. Abdullah bin Muftar Al-Shamrani, CEO of the Saudi Geological Survey. A specialized research team from the Fossils Department of the Geological Survey carried out a study of the calcareous or limestone cliffs near the governorates of Qurayat and Haditha to analyse the types of marine fossils and sedimentation environments in the north of the Kingdom 37 million years ago.
Al-Shamrani announced that the whale discovery was almost completed and is the first of its kind in the Kingdom, it is expected to provide scientific knowledge to researchers across the world.
These discoveries constitute a great deal and crucial importance for scientific research work especially in the field of fossils and archaeology at the international level thus will reinforce the scientific arena of ancient marine environments and geological periods, said the CEO.
Meanwhile, the Kingdom's Heritage Commission added 624 new archaeological and historical sites to the National Antiquities Register during the first quarter of 2021, which will help to build a special database for archaeological sites. The new sites account for 38 in Makkah, 5 sites in Madinah, 342 in Riyadh, 48 in Hail, 54 in Al-Jouf, 52 in Asir, 35 in Tabuk, 4 in the Northern Borders Region, 25 in the Eastern Region, 18 and 3 in Qassim and Jazan respectively.
The country has launched various projects to protect its historical domain and is a base for some of the most significant archaeological sites in the Middle East.