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Dubai: Saudi Arabia’s Heritage Commission has announced the discovery and documentation of the sixth oldest Arabic inscription in the southern region of Najran.

The inscription, found on Jabal Al Haqqun in the Hima cultural area, dates back to around the year 380, as per the Nabataean calendar.

The inscription, attributed to Ka’b Bin Amr Bin Abd Manat, a merchant travelling towards his home in the northwest of the Arabian Peninsula, is an important piece of evidence in the historical development of Arabic writing before Islam. The commission said that Al Haqqun inscription represents a vital phase in the evolution of Arabic writing.

This discovery adds another historical chapter to the open museum of archaeological rock inscriptions in the Najran region. The Al Haqqun inscription follows several others, including three in Al-Ula Governorate, another in Najran, and various inscriptions in the Al Jouf and Tabuk regions.

The Hima cultural area, previously registered on the UNESCO World Heritage Sites List, is one of the most prominent archaeological sites in the Najran region. It showcases a vast museum of rock inscriptions spanning an area of approximately 557 square kilometers.

The Commission said it aims to use these discoveries as significant cultural and economic resources within the National Strategy for Culture, which stems from the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.