Ancient art reveals lions once prowled the land in prehistoric Saudi Arabia

Other drawings, like this one, show images of people and animals. (SPA)
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Updated 26 March 2020

Ancient art reveals lions once prowled the land in prehistoric Saudi Arabia

  • Professor’s research highlights images of the animals at eight sites across the country
  • Saudi Arabia is one of the most notable countries for ancient rock art

RIYADH: Archaeological studies of rock art in Saudi Arabia reveal that lions lived in the area in prehistoric times, according to Hosni Abdelhalim, a professor at King Saud University.

Although camels and mules are the animals most commonly depicted in the ancient drawings and carvings that can be found at a number of locations across the Kingdom, eight sites highlighted in a recent study by Abdelhalim include depictions of lions.

They include Wadi AlUla, Abu Taqah and Owairidh in AlUla governorate, and Jabal Umm Sanman and Shwaimes in Hail. Art depicting lions hunting was discovered in Yateb, east of Hail, and images of the animals were also found on two rocky facades in Wadi Al-Mutaiwi, southwest of Al-Dawadmi Governorate.

Sometimes individual lions are depicted, usually in calm poses. Other images show them being hunted by humans or attacking prey. This suggests that the artists based their art on scenes they witnessed in their native environment, or copied them from images they saw nearby. This indicates that the environment in some parts of the Kingdom was a suitable for lions in ancient times.

This research aims to shed light on the environmental and cultural implications of the lion art by comparing it with images found elsewhere in the Arabian Peninsula and some civilizations in the ancient Near East.

Saudi Arabia’a rich cultural heritage of rock art, originating from a number of civilizations, makes it one of the most notable countries for ancient art.
 


Saudi Arabia to extend visa validity for expats

Updated 08 April 2020

Saudi Arabia to extend visa validity for expats

  • The extension will continue for an additional three months for expats

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia’s General Directorate of Passports will extend the validity of exit and return visas – that expire between Feb. 25 until May 24 of 2020 – at no charge, state news agency SPA reported on Wednesday.
The extension will continue for an additional three months for expats. The decision will cover residents of commercial and industrial professions in the Kingdom and those whose visas have not been used during the suspension of the entry and exit period.
The General Directorate of Passports said that the extension will be done automatically from the system without reviewing the passports.
People can enter their accounts on the “Absher” platform to view the service provided to them electronically, it added.