Rock samples about 20 to 30 million years old have been unearthed under one of the stadiums being built for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, organisers said.
The ‘Dukhan rock’ was found during construction of the 40,000-capacity Qatar Foundation stadium in Doha, which is set to host matches up to the quarter-final stage.
“As we dug down deeper on site, we came across interesting and distinct colour bandings on the rock formations,” said Eid al Qahtani, project manager, Competition Venues, the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy.
“It was an interesting find, and we were intrigued to find out how old these rocks really were,” said Qahtani, who is overseeing the competition.
The excavation of 1.37 million cubic metres of rock at the stadium site unearthed samples of ‘Dukhan rock’ dating back to approximately 20 to 30 million years, ‘Qatar Tribune’ reported.
“We discovered that the rocks in question originated under water, forming a layer known as the middle-Eocene epoch,” said Qahtani.
“This is a remarkable find for a stadium construction site, as usually this type of rock is only found in deeper tunnelling works, conducted by the likes of Qatar Rail,” Qahtani added.
Excavation at Qatar Foundation Stadium was completed by 32 excavators, which reached 17 metres in depth, allowing for the pitch to be built at around five to six metres underground, the organisers said.