Hail’s ‘Historic Jubbah City’ offers a peep into Saudi Arabia’s ancient history

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Jubbah City is considered an essential destination for Westerners visiting the Kingdom, given its geographic location on the road of the old nomad convoys. (SPA)
Updated 07 April 2019

Hail’s ‘Historic Jubbah City’ offers a peep into Saudi Arabia’s ancient history

  • Distinct drawings and petroglyphs take visitors through a journey of evolution in the region

HAIL: Historic Jubbah City in Hail is one of the Kingdom’s most important ancient sites. It is a beautiful desert destination visited by thousands of tourists from around the globe every year, and was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2015.
It has the remains of some the oldest human sites currently known, dating back to the Stone Age, as well as drawings, carvings and petroglyphs on the rock surfaces of surrounding mountains, made with ancient stone tools that tourists can see and learn about.
Some of the most important carvings, dating back around 9,000 years, are found in the Umm-Sinman and Ghouta mountains.
The Umm-Sinman complex is marked by a number of carvings and Thamudic drawings dispersed over the mountain. Umm-Sinman — literally “the mother of humps” — is said to resemble a female camel with two humps lying on the ground. It has 5,431 Thamudic carvings, 1,944 drawings of animals, and 262 drawings of humans.

Timeline
The mountain drawings and carvings depict the daily lives of the humans and animals that inhabited the area. Their timeline is long, featuring both Neolithic and Paleolithic carvings, ranging all the way to the Thamudic era about 3,000 years ago. Some of the most distinct drawings and petroglyphs show a key moment of evolution for the ancient peoples of the Arabian peninsula: The domestication of camels, shown by the emergence of images of people riding them carrying spears.
Jubbah City is considered an essential destination for Westerners visiting the Kingdom, given its geographic location on the road of the old nomad convoys. In recent times, it has become even more attractive, with government investment in improving the standards of facilities available to the public. The completion of the most recent project to develop the sites of Jubbah and the surrounding area contributed to building pedestrian pathways, platforms with linked wooden stairs to observe rock drawings, installing multilingual signs to explain the history and meaning of the historic drawings, and putting up awnings to protect people from the weather.

Decoder

What's Umm-Sinman?

It's a mountain complex in Saudi Arabia's northern region of Hail, specifically in "Historic Jubbah City", which is one of the Kingdom's most important ancient sites. Some of the most important carvings, dating back around 9,000 years, are found in the Umm-Sinman and Ghouta mountains. Umm-Sinman — literally “the mother of humps” — is said to resemble a female camel with two humps lying on the ground. It has 5,431 Thamudic carvings, 1,944 drawings of animals, and 262 drawings of humans.


Madinah museum showcases over 2,000 rare artifacts

Updated 23 August 2019

Madinah museum showcases over 2,000 rare artifacts

  • The museum has issued more than 44 books and publications on Madinah’s architecture

MADINAH: Dar Al-Madinah Museum offers visitors the opportunity to view historical pieces associated with the Prophet’s life. It features artifacts that capture the history, heritage, social life and culture of Madinah.

The museum’s executive director, Hassan Taher, said that it aims to promote the noble values of the Prophet Muhammad, encourage a sense of belonging and capture the history, culture and heritage of Madinah. The exhibits start with the Prophet’s life and end with the Saudi era.

Taher said: “The museum carries out specialized research in Madinah’s architectural heritage. It contains a library of relevant books, research and magazines, all of which are accessible to researchers.”

He said that the museum has issued more than 44 books and publications on Madinah’s architecture.

Taher explained that when preparing the museum’s narrative, it was necessary to reconcile temporal and spatial contexts so they created an added moral and intellectual value for the visitor.

He added: “There are around 2,000 artifacts in the museum’s exhibition halls. These include antiquities, extremely accurate models, handicrafts, manuscripts, documents, correspondence, old publications, postage stamps, photographs and artworks.”

One of the museum’s most valuable exhibits is a large collection of rare pieces associated with important moments in the Prophet’s life and the history of Madinah. 

These include various parts of the Kaaba, rare coins used in Madinah during different eras, ancient pottery, Islamic manuscripts, jewelry and collectibles from the pre-Islamic era.

Taher said that the museum has a professional team of guides who speak several languages, including English, Turkish, Urdu and Malay.