Laying the Hejaz railroad tracks near Tabuk, 1906

Human footprints dating back 85,000 years were recently discovered in Saudi Arabia. 

The traces of the landmark footprints were found in Tabuk, a province in northwestern Saudi Arabia, by an international team of archaeologists alongside Saudi experts. 

Prince Sultan bin Salman, president of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH,) announced the discovery during his visit to the National Museum of Tokyo, according to National Geographic. The museum is showcasing ancient Saudi artifacts via an exhibition dubbed "Roads of Arabia — Saudi Archaeological Masterpieces through the Ages."

A number of footprints, which have been identified to belong to "adult prehistoric people," were found on both land and in an old lake. 

According to Arab News, the "people may have been fishing in the lake for food."

The discovery hints at the fact that the Arabian Peninsula may have been a pathway for humans departing the African continent. Mass migration from the continent was previously thought to have taken place 60,000 years ago.

The recent footprints in Saudi Arabia suggest an earlier date.

According to National Geographic, archaeologists believe Saudi Arabia to be an important site for "understanding ancient human migration." 

The country only recently gave foreign scientists the green light to explore its ancient sites.

In April, a fossil finger bone was discovered in the kingdom's Nafud Desert, suggesting quite a different theory than what was previously assumed with regards to human migrations out of Africa.

The bone dates back at least least 85,000 years ago, and was believed to belong to a member of the Homo sapiens species, according to CNN.

"Fossils and footprints"

"Evolution is such an amazing part of the human story"