RIYADH — Tombstones that date back to the early Islamic period were unearthed near the historic Al-Moalla Cemetery in Makkah, according to the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH).
Naif Al-Qanur, Director-General of Registration and Preservation of Antiquities at the National Heritage Sector of SCTH, said that the artefacts were discovered during the digging works being carried out by a contracting company for the construction of a smart parking lot near the cemetery, located north of the Grand Mosque.
“These tombstones that carry inscriptions in Islamic calligraphy as well as a fraction of pottery all date back to the early Islamic period. These pieces of artifacts are being handed over to SCTH so that the specialists in the antiquities section can inspect and study them deeply,” he said.
Al-Qanur said a specialized team from SCTH will follow up the ongoing excavation works on the site on a daily basis in anticipation of finding more landmarks or artifacts, and that is in direct coordination with the Makkah Mayoralty and the contracting company, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
The mayoralty had announced, through its official website on Saturday, about the discovery of the tombstones during the drilling works for the new smart car parking project, adjacent to the historic cemetery.
It also noted that there has been coordination with the Makkah branch of SCTH and the contracting company for the supervision of the next phases of the digging works as well as to receive the discovered artifacts.
Saudi Gazette report
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