Saudi Arabia. Image Credit: AFP

Cairo: Saudi Arabia has said significant archaeological artifacts, dating back to the second and third centuries AD, were discovered in the southern part of the kingdom.

The finds on the Fursan Islands, around 40 kilometres off Jazan city, included a Roman folded armour made of copper alloy and an armour known as Lorica Squamata dating back to the Roman era from the 1st and 3rd centuries.

Other unearthed artifacts included a small stone bust as well as ancient and Islamic coins.

The discoveries were the outcome of joint search and excavation works conducted by a Saudi-French team.

The Saudi Heritage Commission said the excavations were part of its efforts in survey and excavations of heritage sites in Saudi Arabia and preserving them as cultural and economic resources.

“They date back almost 2,000 years and confirm Saudi Arabia’s historical significance as a cradle of many early civilisations,” the commission said on its Twitter account.

The newly discovered archaeological sites on the Farasan Islands “tell us more about the area’s cultural and historical significance,” the commission said.

“Home to breathtaking landscapes and historically significant sites, the Farsan Islands tell the unique civilisational story for southern Saudi Arabia.”

In recent years, Saudi Arabia has intensified efforts to diversify its oil-reliant economy.