RIYADH: A team of Saudi and French archeologists have discovered several ancient artifacts on Farasan Islands dating back to the second and third centuries, including several Roman-era items, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Thursday.
The islands are located around 40 kilometers from Jazan. The Farasan Islands are also known for its biodiversity and is now a marine sanctuary.
The team was working with University of Paris 1 and form part of efforts to survey and excavate several sites in the Kingdom, the Heritage Commission was quoted as saying by SPA.
We’re proud to announce new archaeological discoveries in the Farasan Islands. They date back almost 2,000 years and confirm #SaudiArabia’s historical significance as a cradle of many early civilizations.
— هيئة التراث (@MOCHeritage) August 4, 2022
The items unearthed include Roman folded armor made of copper ingots, and another type of mail armor known as lorica squamata, which was frequently used by Roman soldiers between the first and third centuries AD.
The team also unearthed a garnet with Genos, a famous figure in the history of the eastern Roman empire, and the head of a small stone statue.
The Saudi-French team first surveyed Farsan Islands in 2005. Between 2011 and 2020, the team discovered several items dating to 1400 BC.
The discoveries indicate the important role the southern part of the Kingdom’s old marine ports and routes along the Red Sea played in trade.
The Heritage Commission continues to explore and maintain such cultural sites by partnering with qualified local and international agencies.