Saudi’s Cultural Rock Arts in Hima Joins UNESCO’s World Heritage List

Rock arts in Hima Najran is a witness to successive civilizations spanning the history of the Arabian Peninsula.

Saudi Arabia’s Cultural Rock Arts in Hima Najran has been officially recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.

“New site inscribed on the Unesco World Heritage List: cultural area of Hima, Saudi Arabia. Mabrouk!” Unesco announced on Saturday.

Rock arts in Hima Najran, one of the largest rock art complexes in the world with more than 100,000 rock art and inscriptions, joins the five Saudi heritage sites inscribed on the List. The site is home to one of the largest rock art complexes in the world. It covers 557 square kilometers.

Hima was a conduit for caravans on the trade and Hajj routes going to and from the southern parts of Arabia, to the ancient world markets of Arabia, Mesopotamia, the Levant, and Egypt. People who passed through the area between pre and post-historic times have left behind a substantial collection of rock art depicting hunting, wildlife, plants, symbols, and tools used at the time, as well as thousands of inscriptions written in several ancient scripts, including Musnad, Thamudic, Nabataean, and early Arabic.
The wells date back more than 3,000 years and were considered a vital source of fresh water in the vast desert of Najran. They still serve freshwater to this day.

Other Unesco sites in Saudi Arabia include rock art in the Hail region, historic Jeddah, Al-Turaif District, Al-Hijr Archaeological Site, and the Al-Ahsa Oasis.

The World Heritage Committee is currently in its annual session, during which members assess the condition and management of more than 1,100 existing sites, as well as accept nominations from countries for new World Heritage Sites.

The World Heritage Committee selects the sites to be listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the World Heritage List and the List of World Heritage in Danger, defines the use of the World Heritage Fund, and allocates financial assistance upon requests from States Parties.

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