Did you know that the first building blocks of human civilisation were set in place in AlUla?

Mysterious yet sophisticated stone structures. Monumental tombs carved out of rocks. Massifs that have been dramatically sculpted by the north-westerly winds. These are just some of the significant archaeological finds in AlUla.

If you are endlessly fascinated by these discoveries, Discovery Channel’s new documentary on AlUla’s history should pique your interest. Titled ‘The Architects of Ancient Arabia’, it premieres March 31 and uncovers traces of society from more than 7,000 years ago.

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The documentary, made in association with the Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU) and produced by Powderhouse Productions, will be narrated by Academy Award winner Jeremy Irons.

Discovery Channel journeys into Saudi Arabia’s deeper past

‘The Architects of Ancient Arabia’ follows teams of leading international and Saudi archaeologists and a local historian as they unearth new wonders in the previously unexplored land.

The teams used multiple modern technologies to record tens of thousands of sites. Out of those, they chose some to explore in greater detail, piecing together a new chapter in the story of human civilisation.

Some of the most critical survey and excavation work in modern history has been taking place in the region, revealing the deep past of AlUla.

Discoveries that will make you question our origin

The teams attempt to decipher the activities associated with ancient stone structures they are excavating across the region surrounding the AlUla oasis. They are keen to build on these findings in a bid to shed light on Saudi Arabia’s mysterious past.

In the documentary, the archaeologists unearth unexpected evidence for an ancient ritual. It also reveals startling discoveries that are likely to reshape the world’s view of earlier periods.

 

Experts believe that the thousands of mysterious stone structures built atop the barren AlUla desert may be the missing link to a major turning point in humankind’s history.

Rebecca Foote, director of archaeology and cultural heritage research at RCU, commented, “We already know much about the major sites such as Hegra. But I hope that the team’s work and this documentary begin to fill in gaps in our knowledge in the late pre-historic period when societies are becoming more complex.”

Lasting impressions for Saudi Arabia and the wider world

With these discoveries, AlUla continues to be even more attractive for the archaeology community globally. More details will be unveiled over the coming months, with published peer-reviewed articles and papers that will change the current understanding of the Arabian Peninsula’s significance.

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Robert Kirwan, executive producer/editor of the documentary, shared his life-altering experience, in which they spent weeks in AlUla filming alongside the archaeological teams. “The startlingly spectacular landscape is like nothing I’ve ever seen. And the stone structures, literally thousands of them dotting the area, have sat untouched for thousands of years. We were walking among the ghosts of unknown ancients, and we could feel their presence, their yearning, to have their story told.”

The teams continue to piece together AlUla’s rich history in time to welcome guests from around the world.

On March 18, flynas started direct flights to AlUla twice a week from Riyadh. As Saudi Arabia opens its doors to the outside world, the Kingdom is poised to share with the world one of the great forgotten treasures of antiquity.

Watch ‘The Architects of Ancient Arabia’ on Discovery Channel on March 31 at 10.40pm (KSA) on OSN (channel 500).

Images: Supplied