Saudi Arabia’s Hima cultural site added to UNESCO world heritage list

Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan, the Saudi minister of culture, welcomed the decision to include the Hima region on the world heritage list announced by UNESCO.

Riyadh: Bir Hima, cultural site in the southwest of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on Saturday became the sixth location in the Kingdom to be included on UNESCO’s world heritage list in their 44th session held online and chaired from Fuzhou, China.

The United Nations heritage committee has selected the cultural sites of Saudi Arabia, Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom for the world heritage list.

“New site inscribed on the UNESCO world heritage List: cultural area of Hima, Saudi Arabia. Mabrouk (congratulations)!” UNESCO announced.

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https://twitter.com/UNESCO/status/1418910800220205062?s=19

Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan, the Saudi minister of culture, welcomed the decision to include the Hima region on the world heritage list announced by UNESCO.

Saudi Arabia has a “rich heritage of human civilizations. Efforts have borne fruit in making it known to the world,” minister said.

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.

The region includes more than 34 separate sites including rock inscriptions and wells along the ancient Arab caravan route.

Old rock carvings in Hima, Najran region, Saudi Arabia (Photo credit: @mashalgrad/Twitter)

Hima was a passage for caravans on the trade and pilgrimage routes to and from the southern parts of the Arabian Peninsula.

“People who passed through the area between prehistoric and post-historic times left behind a large collection of rock art depicting hunting, wildlife, plants, symbols and tools used at the time, as well as thousands of inscriptions.” Saudi Press Agency (SPA) said.

“Inscriptions are in different scripts, including Musnad, Aramaic-Nabatean, South-Arabian, Thamudic, Greek and Arabic.”

The wells in the region are more than three thousand years old and are a vital source of fresh water in the vast desert of Najran region, SPA said.

Thus, the Kingdom has succeeded in registering the sixth Saudi site in this global list, in addition to the five previously registered sites, which are the Al-Hajar site listed in 2008, the Al-Turaif neighborhood in the historic Diriyah listed in 2010, the historic Jeddah listed in 2014, and the rock art sites in the Hail region listed in July 2015, and Al-Ahsa Oasis listed in 2018.

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