Unlocking the mysteries of little known, pre-Islamic kingdoms

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Unlocking the mysteries of little known, pre-Islamic kingdoms

Archaeologists are on a mission to uncover the worship rituals, social life and economy of Dadan and Lihyan

Reuters

Amid the arid desert and mountains of Al-Ula in northwest Saudi Arabia, archaeologists are working to excavate the remnants of the ancient and long-forgotten kingdoms of Dadan and Lihyan.

Al-Ula, a flagship tourist destination since it opened in 2019, is known chiefly for the majestic tombs of Madain Saleh, a 2,000-year-old city carved into rocks by the Nabateans, the pre-Islamic Arab people who also built Petra in neighbouring Jordan.

A team of French and Saudi archaeologists is now focused on excavating five nearby sites related to the Dadanite and Lihyanite civilisations, important regional powers that flourished 2,000 years ago...

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