Jubbat Ha'il, Saudi Arabia
Jabbat Ha'il, located near the small town of Jubba 100 km northwest of Ha'il city, is considered one of the most significant and largest archaeological sites in Saudi Arabia. It is comprised of impressive rock illustrations, carvings, and inscriptions spread throughout Um Sanman Mountain as well as in other nearby mountains. The site is located on a dry lake surrounded by the sand dunes of Nufud Al-Kabeer. To the west and south are sedimentary mountains such as Um Sanman, Ghootah, Shuwaihit and Unaizah.
Between 9000 and 6000 years ago, this desert landscape was lush savannah grassland that supported cattle. Archaeologists have found evidence of 4 major periods of settlement at Jubba stretching back through the Middle Paleolithic period, 80,000 to 25,000 years ago.
The finest carvings date from around 5500 BC, when much of this area was an inland lake and inhabitants carved game animals that came to the waters. Diverse collection of unique rock illustrations reflecting critical issues in the history of the local people, and aspects of economic, social and intellectual life.
Elegant rock-cut ibex and oryx abound, and there are also significant inscriptions in Thamudic (a pre-Arabic alphabet) dating to 1000 BC. Among the enigmatic stone circles are crude carvings of camels and other domesticated animals dating from AD 300. Some examples of the inscriptions have been transported to the National Museum in Riyadh.
Very recently, Saudi Commision for Tourism and National Heritage has successfully added four rock inscription sites at Jubba and Shuwaimis in Ha'il Province to the UNESCO's World Heritage List.