January 25, 2024

Hegra Conservation Project launches by AlUla

Hegra Conservation Project launches by AlUla

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JEDDAH: The Royal Commission for AlUla has launched the Hegra Conservation Project, in partnership with Estia. This project marks a significant effort to preserve the first Saudi archaeological site listed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.

Led by Prof. Mauro Matteini, the Hegra Conservation Project brings together a team of scientists and experts. Their mission involves examining the causes of deterioration in Hegra’s ancient tombs, which date back over 2000 years. By 2025, the project aims to pinpoint degradation factors and establish strategies for lasting preservation.

This initiative offers a window into AlUla’s ancient beauty. Technical and scientific insights into the preservation efforts are available on the project’s website and social media platforms.

Hegra, a prominent historical landmark in the Kingdom, boasts tombs from the Nabataean era, originating around the mid-1st century B.C. It exemplifies the Nabataeans’ ingenuity and water management skills, with over 130 wells sustaining life in northern Arabia.

Featuring 110 monumental tombs, inscriptions, monuments, and rock-cut chambers, Hegra flourished as a hub of trade and culture. The Nabataeans excelled in regional trade, notably in incense and spices, spanning Arabia, Jordan, the Mediterranean, and beyond.

The site weaves together the histories of the Nabataeans, Dadanites, and Lihyanites. It showcases cultural interchanges in architecture, decor, language, and caravan trade. After the Roman annexation in 106 A.D., Hegra integrated a Roman fort into its city wall, impacting its defensive architecture.

Reopened in 2020, Hegra now welcomes visitors to explore the Nabataean Kingdom’s second major city. It unveils ancient civilizations, Roman impacts, and varied histories, offering a captivating journey into the past.

Source: Arab News

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