In the Arabian Peninsula, archaeologists have discovered ancient weaponry that is over 200,000 years old.

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3 min readNov 8, 2023

Archaeologists from Saudi Arabia have unearthed ancient weapons dating back to the Paleolithic era. It is a hand axe or “handheld pounding tool.” Initial dating suggests that it could be as old as 200,000 years.

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Although the oldest stone tools created by human ancestors date back to 3.39 million years, bladed weapons appeared much later. The earliest examples of tools for combat are believed to be four wooden spears discovered in Schöningen, Germany. These were found by archaeologist Hartmut Thieme in 1995, and it was determined that these artifacts could be as old as 400,000 years.

Unique discovery in Saudi Arabia

Researchers in human evolution acknowledge that the use of weapons was one of the fundamental factors driving the development and evolution of humanity. It enabled humans to dominate over animals and provided certain cultures with an advantage over other hominid groups.

Now, archaeologists have reported their latest remarkable discovery. In the northern part of Saudi Arabia, a weapon from the Paleolithic period has been found. Researchers believe that this artifact could date back as far as 200,000 years. The discovery was made by the Royal Commission of the Saudi city of Al-Ula in the Medina province.

Hand Axe from 200,000 years ago

The discovered weapon is known as a “hand axe” or “handheld pounding tool.” It is the longest-used tool in human history, typically made from flint or chert. Larger stone fragments were shaped by striking them against rocks, creating shapes resembling weapons such as axes.

These hand axes often had almond, heart, or oval shapes, with a base well-suited for gripping. The early hand axes from the Abwil culture had a random form and lacked a distinct cutting edge. They were characteristic of the Lower and Middle Paleolithic and were used by Homo erectus and…

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