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In that case, it may be possible to discern a minimum age for the art because its creation had to precede the archaeological deposit covering it.

This is not typical of the rock art in Saudi Arabia, however, which tends to be exposed and lacking any settlement or camp next to the cliff face.

Many species, such as mammoth and woolly rhinoceros thrived in Eurasia and the mammoth, mastodon, camel and giant sloth lived in North America.

Around 10,0000 BCE, a significant climate change occurred, altering environments, flora, and fauna in most parts of the world.

For some 20,000 years, during the Late Pleistocene epoch (Ice Age), the Arabian Peninsula was overall very arid, as it is today.

The earth at that time was considerably colder and the ice caps were much larger than they currently are.

Following the Pleistocene, the Holocene or Recent epoch, witnessed a marked global warming that we still experience today.

Given the current status of direct chronometric dating methods for Arabian petroglyphs, it is rare that the precise age of a rock art panel can be determined.

Later petroglyph artists took advantage of desert varnish, a dark, often shiny glaze that forms on rock surfaces in very arid environments.

By scratching through the varnish and revealing the lighter colored underlying rock, it was possible to create bold images.

These images are typically carved or pecked deeply into the rock surface.

Compared to subsequent periods, the older Holocene Wet Phase Neolithic images usually have a patina that formed after the art and is evenly dispersed over both the images and the background.

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The term refers to the fact that an approximate date can be inferred by comparison with something else of known age.

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