TABUK: The ingenuity of Tabuk’s older generations is evident in the ways they adapted to their desert environment. One such example of resourcefulness was through the creation of Al-Masann, a storehouse where food provisions — such as dates, wheat, barley and cheese — were kept in the past.
Al-Masann was known to be the only tool by which families could store their food for long periods of time without it expiring or becoming damaged, especially when Tabuk’s inhabitants traveled, as they often did, in search of water and vegetation. The technique used in the construction of Al-Masann is based on regulating the temperature inside the storehouse — a rock cavity created by erosion. The cavity is sealed tightly with rocks and mud blocks mixed with rock hyrax urine to prevent air from penetrating and rodents and insects from approaching.
This inventive storehouse helped the inhabitants of the desert move easily and preserve their food in safe locations, in addition to minimizing the load for them and their animals when traveling.
With the advent of technology, Al-Masann has become part of the historical and cultural legacy of the region’s people, with heritage lovers and conservationists eagerly seeking to preserve the legacy of Tabuk’s creative inhabitants.