AlUla's Jabal Ikmah joins UNESCO's Memory of the World Register

AlUla's Jabal Ikmah joins UNESCO's Memory of the World Register



The site is packed with over 450 carved inscriptions.

Jabal Ikmah in AlUla has just gotten some major recognition. The historical site has made it onto UNESCO's Memory of the World Register. The Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU) has made significant investments in the research and preservation of notable sites, including Jabal Ikmah. This remarkable location, often referred to as an "open-air library," resides within the world's largest living museum.

Nestled within the striking landscape shaped by tectonic movements over 30 million years ago, Jabal Ikmah's gorge houses the largest concentration of inscriptions. These inscriptions depict various subjects such as rituals, kings, animals, and agriculture, all of which contribute to AlUla's rich historical narrative.

This site is packed with around 450 carved inscriptions that go way back to the second half of the first millennium B.C. These inscriptions mention religious rituals, day-to-day activities and how the ancient people interacted with their neighbours from the Dadanite Kingdom. 

Jabal Ikmah

And get this: AlUla was a central hub for trade and pilgrimage. Merchants flocked there, dealing in goods like myrrh and frankincense. The whole region was buzzing with prosperity and cultural exchange, which led to the growth of settlements, especially this place called Dadan. They were so advanced, they even had their own alphabet inspired by the South Semitic writing system. Talk about being ahead of the game.

The recent recognition confirms how important AlUla's heritage is on a global scale. Jose Ignacio Gallego Revilla, the executive director of archaeology and heritage research at the RCU, spoke highly of Jabal Ikmah's significance.

Speaking about the evolution and global relevance of the Arabic language, he said: "Their authenticity and integrity, both for the information preserved about ancient societies as well as the conservation of the site, bring together the essentials that make this place unique for the Memory of the World as the chronicle of a lost time through the largest number of inscriptions in an ancient North Arabian script." Now that's the kind of linguistic history that intrigues us.

AlUla's future is looking bright, shiny and epic. With preservation, tourism and innovation as its driving forces. AlUla is the ultimate destination for adventure, culture and mind-blowing experiences.

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