The Saudi Heritage Commission uncovered an 8000-year-old archaeological site at Al-Faw, southwest of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
A Saudi-led global team of archaeologists used cutting-edge equipment to undertake a thorough assessment of the site. According to the Saudi Press Agency, the study used high-quality aerial photography, guided drone footage using ground control points, a topographic survey, remote sensing, ground-penetrating radar, laser scanning, and geophysical survey, as well as extensive walkover surveys and sondages throughout the site (SPA).
Among the various findings at the site, the most noteworthy were the ruins of a stone temple and pieces of an altar, indicating that ceremonies, worship, and rituals were once an integral part of the lives of Al-Faw residents. The rock-cut temple is located on the eastern edge of Mount Tuwaiq, known as Khashem Qaryah.
The new technique also enabled the detection of 8,000-year-old Neolithic human dwellings, as well as 2,807 tombs from various eras scattered around the site, which have been studied and categorized into six groups. The ground was covered with devotional writings everywhere, providing insight into the religious beliefs of the inhabitants of Al-Faw.
In the Jabal Lahaq sanctuary, an inscription imploring the god Kahal, the deity of Al-Faw, by a person named WHBLT (Wahb Allat) from the family of MLHT (Malha), Guerra residents (the city of Al-Jarha).
Aside from its cultural significance, the site indicates the presence of a sophisticated, aesthetically pleasing, and well-planned city with the foundations of four major structures, corner towers, interior plans, and open-air courtyards. The archaeological survey also found an elaborate irrigation system in the world’s most arid countries and severe desert settings, including canals, water cisterns, and hundreds of pits.
For the last 40 years, the archaeological region of Al-Faw has been the center of archaeological research. The findings of the investigations were published in seven book volumes over time. There have been previous allusions to cultural activity at Al-Faw, describing residential and market sites, temples, and tombs, but the most recent finds are far more thorough in their findings.
More significantly, the finds at Al-Faw show that a culture of temples, rituals, and idol worship existed before the monolithic, non-idol worshipping, anti-temple traditions of Islam that prevail there today. These findings may also call into question the generally held belief that the Islamic conquest civilized the Arabian desert people.