Another way that precise dating can be achieved is if the artist records the actual date of his or her creation, the name of a leader of known reign, or a distinctive historical event, like the inscription shown in the previous chapter about King Yousif Assar Yathar’s invasion of the Najran region in 518 CE.
Then, however, it must be clear that the artist is referring to his or her own time, and not providing historical commentary.
A palimpsest of animals from different ages at Shuwaymis: Faint images of Neolithic aurochsen (wild cattle), more recent camels and cavalryman, still younger men with exaggerated hands.
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.
However, all is not lost, and it is possible to establish a temporal sequence that can be quite edifying.
The climate was not stable, however, and around 7000 BCE, monsoon patterns shifted northward, causing the Arabian Peninsula to be more like a savanna than a desert.
Rivers flowed, lakes formed, and the human inhabitants, flora and fauna embraced this lusher environment.