JEDDAH: The Saudi Heritage Commission has revealed what it described as groundbreaking archaeological findings at the Jerash dig sit in Asir region, southeast of Khamis Mushayt.
The commission said the discoveries, which came to light during its 15th season of excavations, underscore the archaeological importance of the site as a key location in the southern part of the Kingdom.
Experts working at the location found the remains of dwellings built from stone and mud with novel architectural features that, building on previous discoveries, provide further insights into the site.
In addition, the teams found evidence of what at the time would have been an ingenious and revolutionary irrigation technique, in which a well meticulously crafted from stacked stones was intricately linked to a central channel that distributed water to basins adjacent to residences. They also unearthed numerous hearths and platforms, again crafted from stone and mud.
Regarding specific artifacts, one particularly significant find was a granite stone with a three-line Islamic inscription, which was the second discovery of its kind at the site. Other items included stone tools used for daily tasks, decorations, pottery pieces and inscriptions.
The wide variety of tools included pestles, mills, and an assortment of querns, hand tools used for grinding grain, of various shapes and sizes. The pottery fragments included glazed pieces, glass artifacts, and soapstone embellishments used on the body, edges and handles of pots. A treasure trove of beads crafted from precious stones was also cataloged.
The commission said its archaeological projects aim to explore, document, preserve and champion archaeological sites as invaluable cultural and economic national assets, in keeping with its wider mandate to safeguard and celebrate the Kingdom’s rich cultural heritage and promote its legacy on a global stage.
This month the Historic Jeddah Program, in collaboration with the Heritage Commission, announced 25,000 discoveries at four archaeological sites, the oldest of which dates back to the 1st and 2nd centuries of the Hijri calendar (the 7th and 8th centuries A.D.).