Ancient Arab sites show potential of exchanges

By Wang Kaihao | China Daily | Updated: 2024-01-23 06:04
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A bronze camel statuette. [Photo by Wang Kaihao/China Daily]

Various precious sculptures, pottery, rock paintings, inscriptions, bronze ware, and other items jointly present scenarios of civilizations from as far back as 7,000 years ago.

Laila Nehme, French archaeologist and co-curator of the exhibition, has worked on the sites in AlUla for more than 20 years. In her eyes, recently excavated relics and animal bones in 120 sandstone monuments known as "mustatils" and thousands of funerary structures from the Bronze Age greatly contributed to people's understanding of that era. Many of the new findings are on show in Beijing.

For example, some animal horns were believed to be used in sacrificial rituals.

During the first millennium BC, the region emerged as a hub on the trade route when each oasis was ruled by a particular king.

"AlUla then became a strategic transit area for camel caravans transporting frankincense, myrrh, and other aromatics across Asia," Nehme explains.

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