Third mosque discovered during excavations at Al-Abla in Asir

The SCTH has implemented four excavations in Al-Abla. (SPA)
Updated 21 April 2019
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Third mosque discovered during excavations at Al-Abla in Asir

  • The excavations are part of an initiative to protect the cultural heritage of the Kingdom.

BISHA: A third mosque has been discovered during excavations at the site of ancient mining colonies at Al-Abla in Bisha, in the Asir region of Saudi Arabia.

The discovery was made by a team from the Department of Archeology and Museums at the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH). 

The excavations are part of an initiative by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Cultural Heritage Program as part of the commission’s efforts to protect the cultural heritage of the Kingdom.

“The excavations kicked off at the facade of the mosque, which has an area of 2,616 square meters, where we discovered walls of stone covered with white plaster,” said Abdullah Al-Aklabi, the head of the excavating team.

The floor consists of crushed gravel mixed with sand and water, covered with a layer of fine gravel, he added. At the center there is a half-circle mihrab, and in the southeast side two rooms have been found, one of which was used to provide light for the mosque.

The SCTH has implemented four excavations in Al-Abla. 

It is considered one of the most important ancient mining sites, as it was located in what was the historical southern sector of the ancient trade route for spice and incense, linking southern and northern Arabia.

The site bears witness to the economic activity of the ancient southern kingdoms of Arabia, a role that thrived during the peak of trade by the Quraish, a tribe of merchants in Makkah. 

Al-Abla retained its mercantile role after the rise of Islam as it was an important stop on the pilgrimage route linking Sanaa to Makkah, in addition to its economic role as a mining colony, in particular during the first few centuries of Islam.

Archaeological excavations are being carried out at the site to reveal and understand the socioeconomic hierarchy of the time, and to identify the various epochs of settlement at the site.

Future archaeological works are expected to explore the transformation in the production of ores in pre-Islamic and post-Islamic times, and shed the light on the urbanizing role of the site.


Peace is our priority but the world must take a stand against Iran, says Saudi cabinet

Updated 45 min 30 sec ago
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Peace is our priority but the world must take a stand against Iran, says Saudi cabinet

  • Saudi cabinet says the international community must take firm action against the regime in Tehran
  • Saudi’s king invites GCC leaders to hold Gulf and Arab summits in Makkah on May 30

JEDDAH: The Saudi cabinet on Tuesday said that while the Kingdom believes all people in the region have a right to live in peace, including the Iranians, the international community must take firm action against the regime in Tehran to prevent it from spreading destruction and chaos.

After a meeting of the Council of Ministers at Assalam Palace, presided over by King Salman, Turki Al-Shabanah, the minister of media, told the Saudi Press Agency that the cabinet reviewed reports on regional and global development, and the king invited GCC leaders to hold Gulf and Arab summits in Makkah on May 30. The invitation reflects the Kingdom’s desire to work with other nations to boost security and stability in the region, the minister said, especially in light of the Iran’s continuing aggressive actions. The regime’s recent activities threaten regional and international peace and security, and the supply and stability of international oil markets, he added.

Al-Shabanah reiterated the Kingdom’s commitment to peace and said it will make every effort to prevent war. The nation’s hand is always extended, he added, in the belief that everyone in the region, including the Iranians, has the right to live in a secure and stable environment.

However, the cabinet called on the international community to shoulder its responsibilities by taking a firm stance against the actions of the regime in Tehran, to prevent its disruptive and destructive activities throughout the world. It also called on Iran to halt the reckless and irresponsible behavior of its agents, to save the region from the dangers they pose and potential repercussions.

The cabinet also expressed the Kingdom’s hopes and expectations that the 14th Ordinary Session of the Islamic Summit Conference, will encourage unity of response to ongoing events in the Islamic world. The summit, chaired by King Salman, will be held in Makkah on May 31 under the title “Makkah Summit: Hand in Hand toward the Future.”

Ministers heard that the Kingdom has sent $250 million to the Central Bank of Sudan as part of a previously announced package of assistance in partnership with the United Arab Emirates. This latest demonstration of support from the Kingdom to the Sudanese people aims to help stabilize the country’s economy, and strengthen the Sudanese pound in particular, to help improve the lives of the nation’s people.

The cabinet also welcomed the decision of the 14th meeting of the Joint Ministerial Committee to monitor an oil production reduction agreement concluded in Jeddah, which was headed by the Kingdom and Russia, and affirmed its commitment to balancing the oil market and stabilizing it on a sustainable basis.

Turning to local affairs, the Council of Ministers confirmed the generous support of SR 100 million ($26.7 million) from the king, and SR 30 million from Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to the Jood Housing platform. Launched a day earlier, and supervised by the National Housing Development Association, it aims to accelerate the development process through the introduction of a new model of social solidarity, in which government, charities and commercial entities work together in accordance with regulations designed to provide support for those in need.

The council also discussed the results of the 26th meeting of the region’s governors, and praised the king for his directives designed to preserve security and help people throughout the Kingdom.