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Saudi Petroglyphs & Rock Art   click to down load article

Saudi Arabia was not included some years ago in the Oxford World Petroglyph Atlas. With over 10,000 sites its slowly became one of the leading 4 petroglyph countries after Australia, India & South Africa. But with more and more sites being recorded recently we believe Saudi Arabia offers the most interesting ancient rock art compositions and the most varied depictions of animals & early humans.

Ancient Arabian Scripts   click to down load article  

It began with cuneiform writing 5,000 years ago and developed into wide spread ancient scripts left as so-called graffiti in thousands of different places along the many caravan routes across Saudi Arabia. Sabaic, Minaic, Dedanic, Lihyanite, Hagaric, Thamudic, Taymaic, Hismaic, Nabataean, Safaitic and Musnad are just some of the ancient inscriptions left on rock surfaces in Saudi Arabia. But the beginnings with Sumerian, Akkadian, Phoenician and the famous Ugarit alphabet are also explained.

Human Depictions in Saudi Rock Art   click to down load article

This is a most interesting article about life size human depictions on rock panals in the  Saudi Arabian desert at Jubbah, Shuwaymis, Hanakiya, Tathlith just to name a few of the over 1,500 sites. It explains the over 70 different forms & positions of human depictions and their development plus the differences of female and male figures plus the 20 strong dancing groups.  

Neolithic Jubbah Site   click to down load article

This range of hills is home to a huge amount of rock art images including fascinating compositions of human and animal depictions. It can be regarded as the largest and one of the oldest rock art sites in Saudi Arabia and most images were created between 7,500-6,500BC. But the area was inhabited already earlier during the Early to Mid-Holocene Period. In addition some more recent burial sites and related stone structures dated between 2,000-1,000BC were also discovered, but no Neolithic permanent residential structures or foundations thereof were found from the time the Jubbah rock art was created.

Neolithic Janin Cave  click to down load article

This is the only cave in northern Saudi Arabia featuring ancient rock art and petroglyphs. The Jananyn mountain, as locals call it, stands up to 300 meter high and rather alone and is of the typical light sandstone color. The cave is situated on the southeast corner of the oval shaped mountain, where the cliff is partly fenced. The cave was created by a splitting rock movement in antiquity and therefore it is rather high with up to 200 meters, but also very narrow with only three to ten meters in width.

Neolithic Yatib Mountain   click to down load article

Yatib is another highly interesting and rewarding ancient petroglyph site to visit situated only some twenty kilometers east of Hail. It is a partially metamorphosed sandstone hill only sixty meters high and about one kilometer long. The rock here consists of very hard stone and therefore about twenty percent of the rock art work was done using metal chiseling tools. These were already available at the time as Yatib is a Bronze and Iron Age site. Yatib offers some spectacular petroglyphs with over 1,000 motifs.

Neolithic Wadi Abu Oud    click to down load article

The site is known only to a few locals and is still unfamiliar to various Saudi petroglyph enthusiasts. Therefore Wadi Abu Oud can still be regarded as a secret tip. In addition it is really an important site and is quite close to al ‘Ula with at least three major areas full of intriguing pre-historic petroglyphs and rock art. The beautiful wadi is in some places wide and in others narrow and offers spectacular 200 meter high red sandstone mountain cliffs and the wadi floor is covered with soft sand and in some places even sand dunes.

Bir Hima Area Sites   click to down load article

Comparing the human depictions in the southern regions we find a very different picture. Female images dominate and throughout the south they are very similar almost identical. Here females are assumed to represent deities. The fact that their images were identical over a huge area, being home to various tribes and cultures, supports the conclusion that they are depictions of goddesses. So the obvious deduction is that the south was at the time female dominated, or females had shaman like functions.

responsible for content:   Thomas Kummert, Potsdam, Germany   mail: postmaster@ancient-cultures.info