China-Saudi Arabia joint archaeological excavation to begin soon


BEIJING: China will send five archaeologists to Saudi Arabia Monday for the excavation of the ruins of al Serrian, according to the State Administration of Cultural Heritage.

Six Saudi archaeologists will work with the Chinese staff at the Saudi port ruins on the Red Sea for 20 days, the administration said.

The excavation will be conducted with the aid of high technologies, including aerial photo by drones, digital surveys and mapping, 3D modelling.

This is the first time China has sent an archaeological team to carry out systematic archaeological work in an Arab country. China and Saudi Arabia signed an agreement for the excavation in December 2016.

Al Serrian, located in the southwestern Arabian Peninsula, was prosperous from the ninth to the 13th century.

Earlier, archaeologist Hussain al-Khalifah found around a dozen humped sculptures, some of them damaged from erosion and vandalism, possibly around 2,000 years old in a private property along a desert crossing in the northern province of Al-Jouf.

Chiselled on three rocky spurs, the sculptures, which also depict equids, or hoofed mammals, showed a level of artistic skill unseen in other rock art forms in the Saudi desert.

These sculptures could help unravel the mysteries of ancient life in the Arabian peninsula.