Arts & Culture

European Travelers Document Najran’s History

Al-Ukhdood in Najran

Visiting the archaeological site of Al-Ukhdood in Najran is an unforgettable journey. It transports tourists back hundreds of years. This site offers a chance to explore history, contemplate, and even inspire artistic and literary works. The place is filled with rocks and formations with engravings that reveal the secrets of ancient civilizations, according to the Saudi Press Agency.

Historical Significance of Najran

Najran, once a prominent city mentioned in the inscriptions of southern Arabia, stood as a hallmark of civilization. It was a crucial trading hub on the ancient trade route. The city was fortified with walls measuring 235m in length and 220m in width. This was typical of the fortification system in the cities of southern Arabia.

Architectural Marvels of Al-Ukhdood

The archaeological city of Al-Ukhdood is known for its stone foundations. Buildings with heights ranging from 2 to 4 meters are prominent. The fort is a significant element, dating back to between the mid-first century BC and the mid-first millennium AD.

Archaeological Discoveries and Conservation Efforts

Archaeological efforts since 1979 have unveiled numerous architectural units. The oldest mosque in Najran and a pottery jar filled with silver coins, “Najran’s treasure,” were among the finds. Moreover,  artifacts from stone-carved utensils to metal animal statues have been discovered, enriching our understanding of the site’s historical depth.

Najran in Historical Records

Historians and geographers have mentioned Najran, highlighting its importance as a trade city. From inscriptions dating back to 680 BC to references by classical historians, Najran’s significance is well-documented. Recent archaeological attention has further underscored its value.

Impact of European Explorers

European travelers have played a crucial role in documenting the inscriptions and archaeology of Al-Ukhdood. Their works have contributed significantly to understanding Najran’s history and heritage.

Najran: Cultural and Trade Center

According to Naif bin Hamad Muslim, CEO of the Najran Archaeology and History Society, Najran is one of the oldest civilized areas in the Arabian Peninsula. Its strategic location has made it a vital trade center. Additionally,  discoveries trace Najran’s civilization back to the Upper Paleolithic Age, highlighting its long history of settlement.

In conclusion, Najran, with its rich history and archaeological significance, offers a window into the past. Its conservation and study continue to reveal the depth of Arabian civilization, drawing interest from around the world.

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