Scientists have found an “underground city” where ancient people lived

Major volcanic eruptions occur on Earth every year. Some of them are located far from human settlements and do not pose much danger. But there are also those whose activity forces people to hastily evacuate from their homes: lava flows escaping from the crater, poisonous gases and volcanic bombs sometimes destroy everything in their path. Often after volcanic eruptions, lava tubes remain on the surface. This is the name given to tunnels made by hot lava, which are so large that animals and people can walk inside them. Some lava tubes were formed thousands of years ago, and ancient people have clearly been inside them. But there was still no evidence that they lived in these shelters. Recently, scientists have finally found an “underground city” where ancient people lived for thousands of years.

Scientists have found an “underground city” in which ancient people lived. Ancient people turned a lava tube in Saudi Arabia into an underground city. Photo.

Ancient people turned a lava tube in Saudi Arabia into an underground city


  • 1 Lava cave of ancient people
  • 2 Umm Jirsan cave in Saudi Arabia
  • < li>3 What did ancient people eat

  • 4 Rock paintings of ancient people

Lava cave of ancient people

An ancient lava tube, in which ancient people lived many years ago, was discovered by an international team of scientists in Saudi Arabia. This cave was given the name Umm Jirsan; it is located 125 kilometers from the city of Medina.

Lava cave of ancient people. Inside the Umm Jirsan lava tube. Image source: Photo.

Inside the Umm Jirsan lava tube. Image source:

Analysis has shown that a huge tunnel, which was formed as a result of a volcanic eruption, first became home to our ancestors 10,000 years ago. Judging by the findings, ancient people lived there for 7,000 years, from the Neolithic era to the Bronze Age. The walls of this formation became evidence of how the human brain developed. The first inhabitants of the cave created tools from stone, and the last ones made complex tools from bronze.

IMPORTANT:The Umm Jirsan cave was found a long time ago, but scientists thought that human bones were brought there by predators. Now researchers are confident that ancient people themselves found refuge there.

Umm Jirsan Cave in Saudi Arabia

The length of the Umm Jirsan cave is about 1.5 kilometers. This means that there was plenty of room for hundreds of ancient people. Based on this, it can be assumed that the lava tube was something like a primitive city that was located underground. In this place, the ancient inhabitants of what is now Saudi Arabia were protected from wind, rain and other natural elements. Also, wild animals were unlikely to visit this place, because hunters could lead them into a dead end and kill them.

Umm Jirsan Cave in Saudi Arabia. Entrance to the Umm Jirsan Cave. Image source: Photo.

Entrance to the Umm-Jirsan cave. Image source:

There is no doubt that people lived in the lava cave. Archaeologists managed to find dozens of traces of their life, such as fragments of clothing, wooden parts processed with various tools, fragments of stone structures, as well as many samples of stone tools. In addition to all this, scientists managed to find pits filled with animal bones – these must have been some kind of garbage cans.

Read also: Ancient people could have kept foxes as pets – here is the proof

What did ancient people eat

Human remains were also found in the cave. Many thousands of years have passed since the death of the inhabitants of Umm-Jirsan, so scientists have not found complete skeletons. Many body parts were eaten by predators, and the bones were scattered or taken out of the tunnel.

What did ancient people eat. Excavations in the Umm-Jirsana cave. Image source: Photo.

Excavations in the Umm-Jirsana cave. Image source:

However, scientists were able to study the existing bones and find out what ancient people ate. The study authors concluded that the cave inhabitants consumed a lot of protein. The researchers also managed to find evidence of eating plant foods: most likely, people collected edible plants from nearby oases.

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Cave paintings of ancient people

Not far from Umm Jirsan, researchers discovered rock paintings depicting cattle and people. This means that lava tubes could have been used by ancient shepherds for recreation. There may have been more carvings on the rocks, but over thousands of years they may have been worn away by wind and water. But scientists are still trying to find something new and will certainly add to the list of interesting finds.

Cave paintings of ancient people. Rock paintings near Umm Jirsan. Image source: PLOS One. Photo.

Rock paintings near Umm Jirsan. Image source: PLOS One

Today, scientists know about the existence of more than 300 caves in which ancient people lived. Most often they are found in France and Spain, because thousands of years ago representatives of the human race lived in large numbers on the lands belonging to these countries. In 2023, researchers announced that they had found “one of the best caves” of ancient people, it is located in the La Garma cave complex, but it was closed as a result of a landslide.

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The discovered cave has an area of ​​only 5 square meters. The room has an oval shape, and there are many traces of the activities of our distant ancestors. You can read more about this find in our article “One of the best” was found in Spain. caves of ancient people.”