The Minister of Culture, Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan, announced the Kingdom’s success in registering the “Hama Cultural District” in Najran in the World Heritage List of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as a cultural site of global value.
By registering the “Hema Cultural District” in Najran, during the meetings of the forty-fourth session of the World Heritage Committee held in the city of Fuzhou in the People’s Republic of China, the Kingdom will have succeeded in registering the sixth Saudi site in this high global list.
The five previously registered sites are Al-Hijr site Inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1429 AH / 2008 AD, then Al-Turaif neighborhood in the historic Diriyah in 1431 AH / 2010 AD, then Historic Jeddah in 1435 AH / 2014 AD, then the rock art sites in the Hail region in 1436 AH / July 2015 AD, then the Al-Ahsa Oasis in Shawwal 1439 AH / June 2018 AD.
The Minister of Culture said: The Kingdom is rich in important heritage sites on the map of human civilizations, and efforts are integrated to introduce them to the world, and to register them in all national and international records, as they are a cultural wealth for the Kingdom.
The process of registering the “Hama Cultural District” in Najran came as a result of the great efforts made by the Kingdom’s delegation to UNESCO headed by the Kingdom’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization “UNESCO” Princess Haifa bint Abdulaziz Al Muqrin, and a team from the Ministry of Culture, the Heritage Authority, and the National Committee for Education culture and science.
The cultural rock art area in Hima is located on an area of 557 square kilometers and includes 550 rock art paintings containing hundreds of thousands of rock carvings and drawings.
It is one of the largest complexes of rock art in the world and is located at an important point in the ancient caravan routes and trade routes that crossed the southern parts of the Arabian Peninsula.
It is believed that it was one of the main markets in ancient Arabia. The wells in Bir Hima represent the last point of supplying water on the north road, and the first after crossing the deserts on the south road.
The Hima site includes tens of thousands of rock inscriptions written in several ancient texts, including inscriptions in the Thamudic, Nabatean, Southern Musnad, Syriac, and Greek inscriptions, in addition to the early Arabic inscriptions (from the pre-Islamic period), which are the beginnings of modern Arabic calligraphy.
The Hima rock art and inscriptions represent an invaluable source for written, artistic, historical, and even ethnographic documentation of climate change events during the prevailing period. Stone axes, pestles, and arrowheads. There are also ancient water wells on the site that are still in use today.