Archaeological discoveries in AlUla
The statue on display at the Louvre is one of the most significant finds from the archaeological site in Dadan, which was a crucial trading region about 2,800 years ago. Image Credit: Instagram @experiencealula

AlUla is a living museum of more than 200,000 years of human history spread across a vast region of northwest Saudi Arabia. This oasis and a UNESCO World Heritage Site is known for its breathtaking natural features, its ancient towns with labyrinthine streets, and mystical wonders still remaining to be explored throughout this largely undiscovered expanse.

 ancient Lihyanite statue
Archaeological discoveries in AlUla like this ancient Lihyanite statue give us a better insight into North Arabia’s forgotten civilisations. Image Credit: Instagram @experiencealula

One such recent discovery has attracted the curators of the Louvre in Paris with a display in the museum’s Near Eastern Antiquities Gallery. Millions of visitors to the famous museum from around the world will have an opportunity to see the ‘Monumental Statue’ of what’s believed to be a Lihyanite king, after a partnership struck between Saudi Arabia and France that loans the piece to the Louvre for the next five years.

Sculpted with exquisite mastery of the art and standing at 2.3 metres tall with a weight of 800 kilograms, the ‘Monumental Statue’ promotes the ancient history of Saudi Arabia as the first ever item excavated in AlUla with a long-term display in Paris. Discovered by archaeologists working in Dadan with the support of Riyadh's King Saud University, the statue is a significant victory for AlUla’s continuous efforts in preservation of the nation’s cultural and historic heritage.