RIYADH: Led by the Saudi Heritage Commission, a group of Saudi and French archaeologists uncovered new findings in the Al-Faw Archaeological Area located in the Empty Quarter south of Riyadh that provide a look into ancient human settlements.
The remains of settlements dating back to the Neolithic period were discovered with the use of extensive ground survey work, archaeological probe distribution, laser scanning and ground-penetrating radar.
Archaeologists also used photography, drone topographic surveying, geophysical surveying and light detection to discover the historical findings.
One of the most important discoveries was the remains of a stone temple and part of an altar on the edge of the Tuwaiq mountains. This temple was used by Al-Faw inhabitants as a place of worship.
Scattered across the site are 2,807 tombs that have been classified into six groups representing different time periods of burial.
Religious rock inscriptions were also found, including one addressed to Khaal, an ancient deity of Al-Faw.
These discoveries provide a deeper look into and understanding of the religious practices of the ancient city of Al-Faw.
Focused survey work and remote sensing images also revealed several agricultural fields that archaeologists believe contributed to the growth of crops and food security for the ancient city’s residents.
The foundations of four monumental buildings were also found. These discoveries identified the irrigation system, which contained hundreds of underground reservoirs that inhabitants dug to store water for areas that were used for agriculture.
At the edge of Tuwaiq Mountain, rock drawings were also found that depict daily activities, including hunting, traveling and fighting.
The findings were discovered 100 km to the south of Wadi Al-Dawaser on the modern road linking the cities of Wadi Al-Dawaser and Najran.
The excavations and fieldwork of the Al-Faw site began with the efforts of the King Saud University led by Saudi archaeologist Dr. Abdulrahman Al-Ansari and have continued for the past 40 years.
Residential areas, markets, temples and tombs were among the findings, which were detailed in seven volumes that were published.
The commission continues its efforts to discover and protect cultural heritage sites in the Kingdom in the hopes of promoting and preserving Saudi history.