Written in Stone: The carvings of Jabal Ikmah officially recognised by UNESCO

Written in Stone: The carvings of Jabal Ikmah officially recognised by UNESCO

Unlocking the secrets of an era goneby, the depictions at Jabal Ikmah are now listed as a significant sources of heritage documentation
24 May 23
AlUla Jabal Ikmah Unesco

Found in the red desert landscape of Saudi Arabia's AlUla, the stone carvings of Jabal Ikmah have officially been recognised world wide by UNESCO.

Declared a UNESCO Memory of the World, the inscriptions of Jabal Ikmah will join a list of 64 international treasures that have been added to the register for 2023. This register recognises places, items and articles as sources of significant documentary heritage, for the entire world.

With roots tracing back to the latter half of the first millennium BC, these epigraphs and petroglyphs are carved into the sandstone rock faces, and the collection consists of nearly 300 valuable inscriptions crafted by the ancient Dadanite and Lihyanite civilisations.

Read more about Saudi's 6 UNESCO Heritage Sites here

These inscriptions provide insights into a wide range of themes including society, rituals, agriculture, and memorials, their way of life, customs, and beliefs.

Beyond their local and national significance, the inscriptions at Jabal Ikmah hold global importance as they mark a significant milestone in human history— the advent of writing and the transition from pre-history to recorded history.

Jabal Ikmah's inscriptions are particularly noteworthy for their role in the evolution of languages and alphabets, specifically in the development process of Old Arabic languages and dialects.

As a testament to human ingenuity and cultural heritage, the inscriptions at Jabal Ikmah transcend geographical boundaries and hold significance for the entire world.

The preservation and study of Jabal Ikmah's inscriptions continue to contribute to the broader field of archaeology, history, and linguistic research, offering invaluable insights into our shared human past, and thus have been recognised as notable articles of significant international importance.