Saudi Arabia's Heritage Authority documents 14 archaeological sites

Discoveries will be added to the National Antiquities Register of sites that represent a 'great historical legacy for the kingdom'

Dadan in Al Ula. Al-Khuraybah (ancient Dadan) was the capital of the Dadan and Lihyan Kingdoms. “Al Khoraiba” included a number of archeological sites, the most important of them is “Lions Graves” (Magaber Al Ausood), “milking she camel” (Mahlab Al Naga). In addition, the site included a number of inscriptions and sculptured rocks, spread of antiquities on site’s surface. The site’s inscriptions document economic, political, religious and social activities of the Lehyanian.  

(Photo: Reem Mohammed/The National)

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Saudi Arabia’s Heritage Authority revealed that 14 archaeological sites of significant historical heritage have been registered in the second quarter of 2021.

The sites in the regions of Riyadh, Qassim, Tabuk and Al Jawf will be added to the National Antiquities Register, which lists archaeological sites that represent a “great historical legacy for the kingdom”.

The sites feature several stone installations comprising inscriptions, rock art, tools and signs dating from the post-Neolithic period.

A picture taken on March 31, 2018 shows rose-coloured sandstone in Madain Saleh, a UNESCO World Heritage site, near Saudi Arabia's northwestern town of al-Ula. - Al-Ula, an area rich in archaeological remnants, is seen as a jewel in the crown of future Saudi attractions as the austere kingdom prepares to issue tourist visas for the first time -- opening up one of the last frontiers of global tourism. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is set to sign a landmark agreement with Paris on April 10, 2018 for the touristic and cultural development of the northwestern site, once a crossroads of ancient civilisations. (Photo by FAYEZ NURELDINE / AFP)

Six of the registered sites are in the central region of Qassim.

The six sites are Jabal Shofan, Al Safalah, Jal Al Rabiah Al Sharqi 1, Jal Al Rabiah Al Sharqi 2, Rajm Al Shuyoukh, in addition to rock art in Al Taraq Centre.

Three sites were discovered in Riyadh and Tabuk: Shuaib Al Adighim, Upper Shuaib Al Adighem and Ruwaigb in Riyadh; Khashem Al-Naqi, the inscriptions of Wadi Qareen Ghazal, and the stone quarry in Wadi Qareen Ghazal in Tabuk. Jabal Markaz Murir and Al Hennah were discovered in Al Jawf region.

The discoveries include Islamic writing, fragments of green glazed pottery dating from the early Islamic period, and stone tools from the late Acheulean era.

The Heritage Authority had so far registered 624 archaeological sites in the first quarter of this year, bringing the total number of archaeological sites listed in the National Antiquities Register to 8,176.

The authority is responsible for discovering historical archaeological sites in the kingdom, which it then officially adds to the National Antiquities Register.

The locations are shared on digital maps that enable easy access to manage, protect and preserve the sites.

Updated: August 11, 2021, 8:11 AM