SCTA works for UNESCO recognition of Hofuf

Updated 14 December 2014
0

SCTA works for UNESCO recognition of Hofuf

Prince Sultan bin Salman, president of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA), said that the tourism authority has begun work for registering the "Middle Historical Hofuf" in UNESCO’s World Heritage List under the guidance of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques.
“All the contents of our national heritage will be restored, developed and preserved and opened for the public and investments,” he said during a visit to the Al-Ahsa municipality on Wednesday.
The SCTA president said that the commission is working with full partnership to accomplish the "Middle Historical Hofuf" project. The file of the project is expected to be ready for submission to the UNESCO in a year. He said: “The file needs lots of work to prove that this site is exceptional and deserves to be registered as a world heritage site.”
Prince Sultan also announced the opening of Aqeer tourist front and said that it would be connected to Hofuf as part of the heritage and historical project.
There are major malls in Riyadh, the Eastern province and in the Gulf. Hofuf must make the most of the opportunity to become a business hub as Al-Ahsa has a bright future, he said, adding that the region is being supplied with municipal services and a road network to help turn it into an economic and historical site.
The SCTA announced earlier this year King Abdullah’s approval for a proposal to register 10 sites for the World Heritage List in the next few years. The sites are: Rock drawings in Hema Well, Al Faw Village in the Riyadh Province, Al-Ahsa Oasis, Egyptian Haj Route, the Levant Haj Route, Zubaida Route, Al-Hejaz Railway, Al-Dre neighborhood in Domat Al-Jondal, Ze Ain Village in Al-Baha Province and Rejal Alma Village in Asir province.
Mayor of Al-Ahsa, Adel bin Muhammad Al-Mulheim lauded Prince Sultan’s announcement about the approval of the 10 sites to be registered with UNESCO including the Middle Historical Hofuf and said that it was a great asset of the Kingdom and needed to be preserved for its cultural heritage and national identity.
Al-Mulheim said that registering it will put it on the global tourism and heritage sites map.
“This region deserves to be registered on the list of architectural heritage sites. It still has some of the traditional structures and the modern buildings in the region are starting to look historical in terms of heights and fronts which will facilitate the registration process,” he said.
The mayoralty is eager to complete the infrastructure of all the historic district sites to the specifications of the UNESCO. The partnership with the commission will have a role in achieving all the objectives that aim to promote the architectural heritage of the region.


A man and his dog — bonded through Arab history

Updated 3 min 40 sec ago
0

A man and his dog — bonded through Arab history

  • The image is the earliest evidence for the use of leashes to control dogs, with the earliest records previously found in Egypt, dating from 5,500 years ago
JEDDAH: Recent engravings discovered in northwestern Saudi Arabia depicting a man with a pack of hunting dogs are thought to be among the oldest records of man domesticating animals in the world.
Estimated to date back more than 9,000 years, the engravings, found at Shuwaymis and Jubbah, show a man drawing his bow and arrow surrounded by thirteen dogs, each with unique coat markings, and two on leads.
The area is home to over 1,400 rock carving panels, but these are now considered to be the crown jewel for the subject they convey, according to Maria Guagnin, an archaeologist at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Jena, Germany, which is overseeing the site in partnership with the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage.
Despite the fact that Guagnin and her team cannot precisely date the panel, the condition of the rock and the sequence of the engraving suggest they date back at least nine millennia. However, there remains conflict over when domesticated dogs first arrived on the Arabian peninsula, and whether these animals were descended from the Arabian wold, or dogs tamed by other peoples abroad, somewhere between 15,000 to 30,000 years ago.
Certainly, the image is the earliest evidence for the use of leashes to control dogs, with the earliest records previously found in Egypt, dating from 5,500 years ago. 

Speculation for their development is also unclear — perhaps the leashed animals were more valuable than the others, or maybe the images depict a way to train new dogs.