Arab News reports on the efforts by the government of Saudi Arabia to have the ancient rock art found in north-central part of the country registered with UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. The art has been remarked upon since its rediscovery in the 19th C. and is protected by Saudi law. The protection, however, only goes as far as enforcement efforts. In seeking UNESCO designation, greater moral weight (and perhaps some money) will accrue to explore, analyze, and protect the sites.

Efforts on to register Hail rock arts with UNESCO

The Kingdom has started efforts to register the ancient rock paintings of Jubbah and Al-Shuwaymas in the UNESCO’s World Heritage List.

President of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA) Prince Sultan bin Salman made the announcement in a recent meeting of the Consultative Committee for Antiquities and Museums at the SCTA headquarters in Riyadh.

Prince Sultan said the royal approval has been granted for the efforts to register the rock paintings of Jubbah and Al-Shuwaymas in Hail province in the World heritage sites.

The Jubbah site lies on an ancient lakebed stretching eastward from the sandstone mountain of Jabal Umm Sanaman (Two Camel-Hump Mountain).

Visiting Hail in 1879, Lady Anne Blunt, granddaughter of Lord Byron, said: “Jubbah is one of the most curious places in the world and to my mind one of the most beautiful.”

December:01:2012 - 09:40 | Comments & Trackbacks (3) | Permalink
3 Responses to “Saudi Rock Art… No, the Other Kind”
  1. 1
    G Jeff Said:
    December:01:2012 - 11:08 

    I have heard from various people over the past 13 months that the Kingdom doesn’t deny, but takes no steps to protect any historic sites that predate Islam, is this rumor I’ve been told false then? It seemed strange to me, but then so do many things I know to be true here! I’d like to see this art before I leave.

  2. 2
    John Burgess Said:
    December:01:2012 - 13:47 

    @G Jeff: The current fuss is about demolition of some historic sites in Mecca and Medina. One side (the government and developers) claims that insignificant sites should be torn down to make room for new, expanded facilities. The other, historians and preservationists, argues that important heritage sites — primarily Islamic, in fact — are being torn down in order to further Salafist ends by ridding the areas of temptations to idolatry. There’s truth on both sides.

  3. 3
    Bigstick1 Said:
    December:01:2012 - 21:27 

    G Jeff:

    Saudi has been demolishing historical sites for a long time generally this is done to keep lies going in order to keep power. Burning texts (as Islam/Christians) have done to solidify their doctrines and then to continue to destory their past events so to keep their lies from being challenged. So stuff different day in the make believe driven drivel known as religion.

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