Hima site in Saudi Arabia named UNESCO world heritage

Ancient rock art on commercial trade route

26 July, 13:29

    NAPLES - The cultural area of Hima, in Saudi Arabia, has been named a UNESCO World Heritage site, becoming the sixth in the country on the UN agency's list.
    The area is in the country's southwest between Najran and Wadi Addawasir and hosts one of the world's largest collections of rock art images.
    "The new site added to the UNESCO list is the cultural area of Hima, in Saudi Arabia!" UNESCO tweeted.
    Hima hosts over 34 separate sites including rock inscriptions and wells along the route of the ancient Arabian caravans.
    The area contains a substantial collection of rock art images depicting hunting, fauna, flora and lifestyles in a cultural continuity of 7,000 years, UNESCO said.
    "Travellers and armies camping on the site left a wealth of rock inscriptions and petroglyphs through the ages and until the late 20th century, most of which are preserved in pristine condition," it said.
    "Inscriptions are in different scripts, including Musnad, Aramaic-Nabataean, South-Arabian, Thamudic, Greek and Arabic.
    The property and its buffer zone are also rich in unexcavated archaeological resources. This location is at the oldest-known toll station on an important ancient desert caravan route, where the wells of Bi'r Ḥima date back at least 3,000 years and still produce fresh water".
    The kingdom has a "rich heritage of human civilisations" said Saudi Arabia's Minister of Culture Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan Al Saud.
    "Efforts have borne fruit in making it known to the world," he said.
    The site covers 557 square kilometres.

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