Ancient aqueducts unearthed as Fayd fort reveals its secrets

The sites included an ancient mosque dating back to the early Islamic era.
Updated 28 August 2018
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Ancient aqueducts unearthed as Fayd fort reveals its secrets

RIYADH: Saudi archaeologists have discovered underground aqueducts dating back to early Islamic period.
They were found during an excavation in the historic city of Fayd, in Hail, along with bakery ovens, wash basins and a large number of architectural sites.
“The archaeologists, who work under the supervision of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH), found traces of the underground aqueducts in the archaeological city in Hail,” Majed Alshadeed, a SCTH spokesman, told Arab News on Monday.
The breakthrough discoveries were made outside the fort in Hail, with a second site uncovered in the area between the two walls of the southern side of the fort. A third site was found at Al-Qalqah citadel.
The sites included an ancient mosque dating back to the early Islamic era, in addition to architectural units with several rooms, and architectural details buried between the exterior and interior walls of the fort.
The archaeological action plan included detecting, preparing and cleaning old wells in the traditional city. The wells are connected to the underground aqueducts, Alshadeed said.
A service site for the ancient fort was also uncovered, with bakery ovens and wash basins found in channels that pass through the last underground square.
Pottery utensils, and glass, stone and metal pieces were also retrieved.
The city of Fayd is a major archaeological and historical site, located 120 kilometers east of the city of Hail.
It is the third city of the old pilgrimage route “Darb Zubaidah” — after Kufa and Basra — and the largest station on the pilgrimage route used by millions of pilgrims for their once-in-a-lifetime Hajj journey to the holy city of Makkah.
Foundations located in the northern part of the fort were built in regular forms using volcanic stones commonly found in the city. Some architectural forms and objects such as basins were also carved from volcanic rock.
The presence of iron residues showed the objects may have been in the manufacture of glass and iron.


Financial Sector Conference kicks off Wednesday in Riyadh

Updated 26 min 13 sec ago
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Financial Sector Conference kicks off Wednesday in Riyadh

  • Thousands have signed up for the two-day event including ministers and top policy makers

Thousands of delegates are expected to attend a two-day finance event in Riyadh, which starts on Wednesday under the patronage of King Salman.

The Financial Sector Conference is being held by the Ministry of Finance and Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA).

Organizers of the event at the Ritz-Carlton conference hall in Riyadh said informally that some 3,400 attendees had signed up for the two-day showcase of the Kingdom’s financial industry, and that more were registering at an impressive rate.

Delegates include ministers from the finance, economy and strategic ministries, as well as top policymakers from capital markets, investment and insurance industries.

It follows last year’s Future Investment Initiative (FII) and the National Industrial Development and Logistics Program events, held at the same venue.

The event will involve the presence of the Saudi Real Estate Refinance Company (SRC), which is seen as a key to providing more affordable housing in the Kingdom and boosting home  ownership by citizens.

SRC, a subsidiary of Saudi Arabia’s sovereign Public Investment Fund, aims to issue up to SR4 billion ($1.07 billion) of long-term sukuk — or Islamic bonds — this year, its chief executive said on Tuesday.

“Our strategy is clearly to tap the market twice this year,” Fabrice Susini said. “We are really looking at probably issuing something between ... 2 and 4 billion riyals that we may be issuing in two tranches.”