JEDDAH — Hima, the rock art site in Najran, was added to the World Heritage List by UNESCO, becoming the sixth Saudi site to be added to this list.
The site, located in southwestern Saudi Arabia, is home to one of the largest rock art complexes in the world.
Hima was a channel for caravans on the trade and Hajj routes going to and from the southern parts of Arabia to Mesopotamia, the Levant, and Egypt. Pre-historic people have left behind a collection of rock art depicting hunting, plants, wildlife, symbols, tools used during the time, and thousands of inscriptions written in several ancient scripts, including Musnad Thamudic, Nabataean, and early Arabic.
There are wells dating back to over 3,000 years and are still considered a vital source of fresh water in the vast desert of Najran.
“We are thrilled to have this exceptional ancient site recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. The area has outstanding universal value, providing us with many lessons about the evolution of human culture and life in ancient times,” said Dr. Jasir Alherbish, CEO of the Heritage Commission.
“We are working to preserve the area and conduct research to understand the rock inscriptions and are looking forward to welcoming more local and international visitors to come and see this historic cultural site for themselves.”