Sandstone cave drawings show ancient sites

More than 5,000 drawings have been found in a sandstone cave near the Al-Wakra desert. They’re used for oil exploration

Scores of drawings etched into a sandstone cave have revealed the past of a site on a road that was previously thought to have been bulldozed.

“It’s almost like an archaeological tour guide for me to see where this early earthworks were formed,” lead researcher Shabaaa Al-Asmar, from Qatari university Doha, told the Kuwait Times.

“At first I didn’t believe they were drawn in a cave, so many dimensions were lacking,” she said. The mysterious drawings are thought to date from the time when oil exploration on the site was initiated.

Salim Ahmed Al-Tarabuli, chief geologist at Qatar Petroleum, said more than 5,000 plates in the “huge and beautiful” cave had been found and are now being studied.

“There are different designs, some were small and formed not by hand,” he said.

The original Sandbar Road, which linked Doha to the city of Ruwais and the Aqaba coast, was built in 1929. The latest discovery was made during oil exploration in 2011, while the road was being repaved.

It has been heavily exposed since new gates and buildings were built on the site. The crude markings include petrograms, etchings, designs and animals, according to Qatar News Agency.

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