Abu Dhabi: Artefacts, including an axe and tools to crack open animal bones, dating back to more than 150,000 years have been discovered in Abu Dhabi.
The team from the Department of Historic Environment found a type of tool - the Levallois - whose one of many functions was to split animal bones to extract the marrow which was a nutritious food resource.
Dr Ganim Wahida, a specialist in Stone Age archaeology, invited by Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (ADACH) to study and evaluate the artefacts, says that "the discovered assemblage belongs to the techno-typologically Middle Stone Age Period, well over 150,000 years ago".
Among the discoveries this season was also a hand axe of the Middle Stone Age.
Dr Walid Yassin, Manager of the Archaeology Division at ADACH, who had discovered these two sites and previously discovered other artefacts, said the Levallois technique was first discovered in the nineteenth century at the archaeological site of Levallios, near Paris.
Today, similar artefacts have been found in Europe, Africa and Asia.
In the Near East they are usually associated with Neanderthal man.
The significance of this major discovery "lies in the fact that it alters our understanding of the beginning of the first human activities in Abu Dhabi Emirate which seem to have gone back well into the Old Stone Age," he said.
"This important discovery does contradict an earlier claim made by archaeologists during the late twentieth century that the earliest occupation of the Arabian Gulf was during the New Stone Age, some 7,500 years ago. This discovery complements earlier findings made last year at the same area," Yassin said.