Archaeologies of Ancient Civilizations The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Ancient Treasures

Many archaeological sites, dating back to ancient times, are scattered everywhere in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. These sites indicate that the region was once inhabited by humans who built ancient civilizations that flourished on the land of the Arabian Peninsula. There are inscriptions and unique monuments which were discovered over the years and tell the ancient secrets of bygone civilizations. Some of these treasures have been moved to the Kingdom's museums to display them to enthusiasts of history and archeology and to explore the secrets of ancient kingdoms.

 

The Groove

The History of Najran

The Groove village, which is nearly five square kilometers, is located in Najran, south of Saudi Arabia. The village boasts ancient inscriptions and carvings of human hands, camels and snakes drawn on rocks. The village is situated close to the historical Emirate palace in the Najran region.

This village is mentioned in Quran, and it embodies an important example of the Najran civilization, which tells of the human settlement in this region.

 

 

Jabal Ikmah

A Library amidst nature

The region of AlUla, in the northwestern part of Saudi Arabia, boasts many archaeological sites that feature rock inscriptions drawn on its stunning mountains. Among the most famous of these sites is Jabal Ikmah, which was an important station on the ancient trade route, as evidenced by more than 500 inscriptions carved on the cliffs and rocky facades dating back to the Dadanite and the Lihyanite eras.

Visitors can explore the writings and texts engraved on the rocks that tell about sacrifices and ancient laws that indicate the importance of Jabal Ikmah and its status in ancient times.

 

 

The Tayma's hieroglyphic inscription

The Pharaoes and the Arabian Peninsula

The Tayma's hieroglyphic inscription which was found in 2010 represents one of the city’s most famous landmarks, revealing the existence of a trade route linking the Nile valley with the region of Tayma', which was used during the reign of Ramses III in the 12th century BC.

The ancient Egyptian caravans headed to the region of Tayma' to get gold, silver, copper, incense, and other important goods, as did the Levant. The region of Tayma' has always been of great importance in the Kingdom of Median as an important commercial station for visiting caravans, which made it a destination for neighboring civilizations, some of which left evidence of the relationship with the Arabian Peninsula, including the hieroglyphic inscription, which is the first inscription of its kind to be found with a royal signature.

 

 

Madain Shuʿayb

Wonderful rock facades

The Maghair Shu'ayb, which translates to cities of Shu'ayb, is located in the governorate of Al-Bida'. The Madain Shu'ayb, once inhabited by the Nabataean, was a fertile oasis full of water springs and orchards. This area is also known as Madian, and contains houses carved into the mountains, and it is similar to Madain Saleh.

The Al-Bida', or Maghair Shu'ayb, is an ancient oasis boasts some mountain ranges that feature approximately twelve cavities carved into the rocks in the form of wide domes. Some of them are decorated by inscriptions and were used as graves while others were used as houses, each of which includes up to thirteen rectangular graves.

The Madain Shu'ayb was visited by many explorers and orientalists, including Georg August Wallin, Edward Roble who wrote about Madain in 1829, the British Richard Francis Burton in 1853, the Lady Anne Blunt and others.

 

 

 

The Omar Ibn Al-Khattab’s

Islamic history

The Omar Ibn Al-Khattab’s mosque is one of the oldest archaeological mosques north of the Arabian Peninsula, and it is one of the famous antiquities in the region of Al-Jouf. The building of the mosque dates back to Caliph Omar Ibn Al-Khattab, may Allah be pleased with him, and it is said that he built the mosque while on his way to Bayt-al-Maqdis.

The mosque is situated in Domat Al-Jandal in the Old City, close to the Mard fortress near the district of Ad-Dera’. The area of the mosque is 32.5 x 18 meters, and it features a minaret, which is about 12 meters high, the Qibla corridor, the Mihrab, the courtyard of the mosque and the prayer hall.

 

 

Thaj

The golden mask

The city of Thaj is one of the most famous archaeological sites in the eastern part of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, some studies trace its prosperity back to the first millennium BC. The city is located in a shallow valley on the old commercial caravan route, which contributed to its importance in providing the necessary services for trade caravans.

The city is surrounded by a 2.5 km long fence.  Excavations have discovered the oldest pottery kiln in the eastern region, and the remnants of a girl with complete funerary stele dating back to the first century AD. It is believed that the remnants belong to a royal family in the Thaj civilization, including a golden mask and some other jewelry. The golden mask, which was discovered in 1998, dates back to the Hellenistic era in which the Arabian Peninsula was connected to the Mediterranean world by major trade routes.

 

 

Jubbah

Great history

The Jubbah region is one of the most famous Saudi archaeological sites inscribed on the UNESCO List of World Heritage since 2015. The area is located in the Jubbah governorate in the region of Ha’il, in the middle of the great An-Nafud, popularly known as An-Nafud Al-Kabeer, on the ancient caravan route linking Najd and the Mediterranean.

Many inscriptions and drawings, dating back to different ancient times, are found in Jabal Umm Sinman and the surrounding mountains in Jubbah. The number of Jabal Umm Sinman’s inscriptions is more than five thousand Thamudic inscriptions, about two thousand drawings of various animals, and about 262 human drawings.


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