Saudi archaeologists claim 'significant' discoveries at Al Abla site

Teams find reservoirs used to store rainwater as excavation of site enters seventh year

Saudi Arabia has announced 'significant' discoveries, including homes and work areas, at the kingdom's Al Abla site. SPA
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Saudi Arabia has announced “significant” archaeological discoveries at the Al Abla site, a mining territory in Asir region.

The discoveries included reservoirs used to build rainwater stores in homes and for industry, the kingdom’s Heritage Commission said.

The reservoirs included roofs built to allow rainwater to travel through gypsum-lined or pottery channels to be stored until needed.

Walls and floors of buildings found at the site were also coated in gypsum, a mineral used in plaster.

The discoveries, made during the seventh season of archaeological excavation at the site, highlight the prominence of Al Abla as one of the most important ancient mining locations in the south of the country, the official Saudi Press Agency said.

Among the most notable finds were small glass vials, metal pieces, parts of bronze vessels, rings and beads made of ivory and precious stones.

Teams also discovered oval-shaped water basins with an insulating material on the inside, as well as pottery stoves.

Hammerstones, grinders and pairs of quern stones in various sizes and forms were also found, as well as glazed pottery and bodies, rims and handles of vessels made of pottery and steatite, or soapstone.

Updated: August 26, 2023, 6:35 AM