Saudi Arabia’s Hima Cultural Area, a mountainous area that is home to a large collection of rock art images dating back thousands of years, had been added by UNESCO on its World Heritage List on Saturday, joining five other sites in the Kingdom previously inscribed.
Here are descriptions of the five other locations in Saudi Arabia inscribed as a World Heritage Site:
Mada’in Saleh, also called ‘Al – Hijir’ or ‘Hegra’, was the first Saudi site listed by UNESCO as World Heritage Site for its huge historical significance.
As mentioned in the Holy Quran, many religions and peoples coexisted in its land for peoples of civilizations throughout history.
The area of Mada’ in Saleh stretches about sixty hectares, and what is known on the surface is only a fraction of the reasures buried under the land. These immortal features made by the former Nabateans who settled around thos region between the first century BC and the first after AD are only the highlights of the civilizations that ruled the land at the time.
At – Turaif District In Ad – Dir’iyah:
At – Turaif District in Ad – Diriyah represents a prominent national symbol in the kingdom’s history as it is associated with the first Saudi State.
Since the old city of Diriyadh lay on thebanks of Wadi Hanifa, it helped create positive interaction between mand and his environment.
Diriyah thus becomes a model of oasis communities in deserts.
Historic Jeddah, the Gate to Mecca:
Al – Balad’s (Historic Jeddah) history dates back to pre – Islam eras. There are several archeological sites and buildings there such as the ruins of Jeddah’s wall and historical alleys and markets. The historic area of Jeddah – which includes many ancient mosques, buildings and neighborhoods – has received considerable attention for the past several years after being recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2014.
It is unknown when this area was created exactly; but sources indicate that it started having fences and doors during the Portuguese campaign on Jeddah in the middle of the sixteenth century to protect it from the wars of domination between the Portuguese and the Ottomans. However, the first one to write about Jeddah was the damous traveler Al – Maqdisi; he visited it on his way to Mecca in the fourth century AH and said that it has wonderful castles with water but it is tiresome.
Rock Art in The Hail region:
The site of rock art in the Hail region includes two components situated in a desert landscape: Jabel Umm Sinman at Jubbah and the Jabal Al – Manjor and Raat at Shwaymis.
A lake once situated at the foot of the Umm Sinman hill range that has now disappeared used to be a source of fresh water for people and animals in the southern part of the Great Narfoud Desert.
The ancestors of today’s Arab populations have left traces of their passages in numerous petroglyphs and inscriptions on the rock face.
Jabal Al – Manjor and Raat from the rocky escarpment of wadi now covered in sand. They show numerous representations of human and animal figures covering 10,000 years of history.
Rock Art is the fourth listining os Saudi heritage sites on the Wolrd Heritage list.
Al – Ahsa Oasis:
Al – Ahsa Oasis is considered the largest in the world with more than three million palm trees, and was included recently among the UNESCO’s World Heritage List during the committe meeting in Manama, Bahrain, under the chair of Sheikha Haya Rashed Al Khalifa of Bahrain and which started on June 24 and finishes on July 4.
Saudi Arabia’s al – Ahsa Oasis had entered the Guinness Wolrd Records as the largest self – contained oasis in the world.
‘Located in south – eastern Saudi Arabia, there are more than 2.5 million palm trees in the oasis, which is fed from a huge underground aquifer, which allows agriculture all year round in a region that is otherwise sand desert’, the reference book known for keeping world records said on its webisite.
Hima Cultural Area:
Hima Cultural Area was once a major route for traders, armies, and Hajj pilgrims who traveled from different parts of Arabia, Mesopotamia, the Levant, and Egypt.
The travelers left behind thousands of inscriptions depicting hunting, wildlife, plants, symbols, and tools in dozens of ancient scripts including Musnad, Aramaic – Nabatean, South – Arabian, Thamudic, Greek and Arabic.
The location is also home to several wells that date back at least 3,000 years and still produce fresh water.