2010

Hegra I, Excavation Season at Madâ’in Sâlih

Hegra I : Report on the First Excavation Season at Madaîn Sâlih, 2008, Saudi Arabia

Prepared under the supervision of L. NEHMÉ, D. Al-TALHI and F. VILLENEUVE
Riyadh : Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities, 2010
352 p., 21 cm x 28,5 cm - ISBN : 978-603-8022-31-3
Table of contents

Madâ’in Sâlih, ancient Hegra of the Nabataeans, is one of the most impressive sites in the Middle East, and in 2008 was the first site in Saudi Arabia to be inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. It has been called the ‘southern capital’ of the Nabataean kingdom which stretched from Syria to northern Arabia and which was famous for its sophisticated water-catchment techniques, far-flung commercial network, the beauty of its architecture and the delicacy of its pottery.

Madâ’in Sâlih has long been famous for its monumental tombs but they have never been systematically investigated, and nothing is known of the city itself which is hidden by the desert sands. Now, for the first time, a Saudi-French archaeological project is investigating every aspect of the site. After five years of archaeological, epigraphic, geophysical, and hydrological survey of all parts of the site, this book presents the full report of the first season of excavations (2008) : in the residential area, the city wall, the area of tumuli, in the monumental tombs, and among the religious monuments of Jabal Ithlib. It includes not only reports on the excavations, but preliminary studies of the pottery, archaeobotanical remains, and proposals for the conservation and the presentation of the mudbrick architecture. The results of these excavations are of the utmost importance for our understanding of the ancient history of Arabia and its relationship with the Hellenised Near East.