Ancient Whale Fossil Found in the Saudi Arabian Desert: Unveiling the Kingdom’s Ancient History

Geologists in Saudi Arabia have made a remarkable discovery, unearthing the remains of a 37 million-year-old extinct whale in the country’s vast desert. The find shed light on Saudi Arabia’s ancient history when the sea expanded far within the present-day Peninsula.

The whale fossil, from the Upper Eocene era, was found in the Al-Jawf region, northwest of the Kingdom. This discovery is especially intriguing since it is rare for whales to be found in desert environments, which may explain their extinction in the region.

To make this discovery, the Saudi Geological Survey surveyed calcareous cliffs near the governorates of Qurayyat and Haditha.


These cliffs contained limestone and other chalky substances, offering valuable information about the types of marine fossils and their deposition in northern Saudi Arabia 37 million years ago.

Interestingly, this is not the first significant archaeological find in Saudi Arabia. In the same region, archaeologists uncovered the earliest evidence of dog domestication by the ancient inhabitants.

The discovery of dog bones with signs of arthritis suggests that these animals lived alongside humans into their middle or old age. Rock art in the region indicates that Neolithic inhabitants likely used dogs to hunt various animals, including whales.


The discoveries in AlUla, the ancient and unexplored city in the Northwest desert of Saudi Arabia, have been crucial in understanding the region’s past.

AlUla, once a prosperous oasis valley and an important crossroad on the incense route, has been home to 3,000 years of powerful successive civilizations.

These findings are revolutionizing how we view historical periods like the Neolithic in the Middle East. The knowledge that people may have known where their kin was buried for hundreds of years is unheard of in this region during that era.


Saudi Arabia’s ongoing archaeological surveys and excavations are unearthing fascinating glimpses of its ancient past. With each new discovery, the nation’s history becomes clearer and more affluent.

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