saudi art1-1676547746016
Artefacts unearthed at Al Ukhdud site. Image Credit: The Saudi Heritage Commission

Cairo: Archaeologists have uncovered ancient artefacts dating back to pre-Islamic era in an area in southern Saudi Arabia, the kingdom’s Heritage Commission has said.

The artefacts discovered in Al Ukhdud excavation site in the Najran region included Musnad inscriptions of the ancient south Arabian script, three gold rings and a bronze bull’s head.

The commission said the finds shed “a unique light on the ancient culture” which existed in Saudi Arabia’s southern region.

saudi art3-1676547756112
Al Ukhdud excavation site Image Credit: The Saudi Heritage Commission

The commission called the discovery “exciting” and the finds “rare”.

Prominent among the artefacts is a large inscription carved on a granite stone, measuring approximately 230cm in width and 48cm in height, making it the longest inscription found at the site, the commission said in a statement.

saudi art4-1676547742736

The artifact belonged to a local inhabitant named Wahib Eil bin Magan with the inscription providing a unique description of his work as a water carrier.

The three similarly sized rings unearthed at the site are each topped with a golden butterfly-shaped lobe with a small lock connecting its two ends, it added.

As for the bull’s head, the commission explained that the bull’s head figure was a common feature among the pre-Islamic kingdoms of the southern Arabia.

saudi art2-1676547749178

Viewed as a symbol of strength and fertility, the figure had been previously discovered among other civilisations. The unearthed bull’s head, unearthed at Al Ukhdud with traces of oxidation, is being restored, the commission said.

Other pieces found at the site include several pottery jars of various sizes and measurements as well as a pottery pot believed to date back to the third century BC.