The Ancient Walled Oases of Northern Arabia

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The Ancient Walled Oases of Northern Arabia is part of the Tentative list of Saudi Arabia in order to qualify for inclusion in the World Heritage List.

The Ancient Walled Oases of Northern Arabia comprises 4 millennia-old archaeological oases sites. They show extensive forms of water management and cultivation techniques. The walls were built against intruders, but also against natural forces such as flooding and wind.

Map of The Ancient Walled Oases of Northern Arabia

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The coordinates shown for all tentative sites were produced as a community effort. They are not official and may change on inscription.

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Wojciech Fedoruk

Poland - 05-Sep-22 -

The Ancient Walled Oases of Northern Arabia (T) by Wojciech Fedoruk

After visiting the wonderful WHS Rock Art of Hail, instead of going straight to Al-Ula, I headed north to the town of Dumat Al-Jandal. Dumat Al-Jandal is only 260 kilometers from Jubbah of desert and, as I can say, there was probably not a single gas station between these cities. There were spectacular dunes and a road as straight as a table.

Dumat Al-Jandal is a place with an extremely rich history. It has been inhabited since at least the 8th century B.C.E. and is mentioned in the Assyrian chronicles and (possibly) the Bible. In Roman times, the town was a border post of Arab Limes, and then an important city of pre-Islamic and Islamic empires. Muhammad obtained it as early as 626 AD, that is 4 years after the famous victorious escape to Medina.

Today Dumat Al-Jandal is a small town, completely overshadowed by the much larger Sakakah. The city's splendor is reminiscent of the old quarter, perhaps the most atmospheric place in all of Saudi Arabia. It consists of three important points - the Marid castle, the Umar mosque and the old city of Al Dari. Intensive reconstruction work is being carried out on site with the participation of Italian archaeologists - I tried to start conversation, but they turned out to be not willing to talk. Most of the work has already been done and it looks great - while walking around the castle or the streets of Al Dari (as usual in Arabia, completely alone) I felt as if I had been moved back in time by two thousand years. Great place, number one for me on the Saudi T-list.

On the way to Al-Ula I passed Tayma, another site covered by this proposal. However, during my visit (November 2022) the TWHS was limited only to Dumat Al-Jandal, so I skipped archeological remains of Tayma.


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Full Name
The Ancient Walled Oases of Northern Arabia
Country
Saudi Arabia
Added
2022
Type
Cultural
Categories
Archaeological site - Near Eastern
Link
By ID
2022 Revision

Includes Dumat al-Jandal and Tayma, which were on its first and very extensive tentative list from 1988

2022 Revision

Includes former TWHS Dûmat Al-Jandal Historical Oasis in Al-Jawf Region (2015)

2022 Added to Tentative List

2021 Incomplete - not examined

As Dûmat Al-Jandal Historical Oasis in Al-Jawf Region

The site has 4 locations

The Ancient Walled Oases of Northern Arabia: Tayma (T)
The Ancient Walled Oases of Northern Arabia: Qurayyah (T)
The Ancient Walled Oases of Northern Arabia: Dumat Al-Jandal (T)
The Ancient Walled Oases of Northern Arabia: Ha’it (T)

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