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Saudi Arabia unearths 25,000 artefacts from early Islamic era in Jeddah

February 5, 2024 at 4:20 pm

Historic tombstones and artefacts unearthed in Makkah, Saudi Arabia 25 June 2020 [@OfficialMohd1/Twitter]

Authorities in Saudi Arabia have announced the discovery of 25,000 fragments of artefacts dating back to the early Islamic period in Historic Jeddah.

The find was announced by the Jeddah Historic District Program (JHD) in collaboration with the Saudi Heritage Commission which are part of the Historic Jeddah Revival Project, initiated by the Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman.

Among the archaeological discoveries, dating back to the Rashidun Caliphate, are artefacts from the Othman Bin Affan Mosque dated to the 7th to 8th centuries CE, including Ebony pillars from the mihrab or prayer niche, traced to present day Sri Lanka, indicating the Red Sea port city’s extensive trade connections.

Other significant finds were 11,405 pottery shards, 11,360 animal bones, 1,730 shells, 685 building materials, 187 glass artefacts and 71 metal artefacts.

Some of the pieces were from other periods of Islamic history, such as pottery fragments from the Abbasid era, while later finds date back to between the 16th and 19th centuries CE.

According to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA), the project started in January 2020 with exploratory studies and a geophysical survey that aimed to unveil the historical significance of four crucial locations: Othman Bin Affan Mosque, Al-Shona, a segment of the Northern Wall and Al-Kidwah.

“The archaeological site at Al-Shona, dating back at least to the 19th century, has yielded numerous pottery shards, including porcelain and ceramic from Europe, Japan, and China, dating from the 19th to 20th centuries AD,” the agency revealed.

READ: Saudi Arabia to develop over 100 historical sites in Makkah and Madinah