Tuesday February 27th, 2024
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25,000 Fragments of Early Islamic Era Artefacts Unearthed in Jeddah

The findings were made as part of the Historic Jeddah Revival Programme, initiated by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Scene Now Saudi

An archaeological find in Jeddah has unveiled approximately 25,000 fragments of artefacts dating back to the era of the Islamic caliphates. The Jeddah Historic District Programme, in collaboration with Saudi Arabia's Heritage Commission, announced this significant discovery, which spans the first two centuries of the Islamic Hijri calendar, from the seventh to eighth centuries. The findings were made as part of the ongoing efforts of the Historic Jeddah Revival Programme, initiated by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The project, which began in January 2020, conducted extensive exploratory studies and geophysical surveys at four key locations: Othman bin Affan mosque, Al Shona, a segment of the Northern Wall and Al Kidwa. Excavations at Othman bin Affan mosque revealed artefacts from the 7th to 8th centuries, including ebony pillars believed to have originated from Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), showcasing the city's extensive trading connections.

The archaeological investigations yielded new findings, including pottery shards, animal bones, shells, building materials, glass artefacts, and metal artefacts, shedding light on the daily life and trade connections of the region during that era. Additionally, the site uncovered a collection of ceramic vessels and fragments, including high-quality porcelain, some of which were traced back to China's Jiangxi province and dated between the 16th and 19th centuries.

Excavations at Al Shona unearthed pottery shards from the 19th to 20th centuries, originating from Europe, Japan, and China, while Al Kidwah revealed parts of the Eastern Moat, likely dating back to the late 18th century. Tombstones made of Mangabi stone, marble, and granite were also discovered throughout historic Jeddah, bearing inscriptions potentially dating back to the second and third centuries.

To ensure accurate identification and dating, wood samples from 52 buildings were sent to international laboratories for analysis. The archaeological studies involved excavations, radiocarbon analysis, soil examinations, geophysical surveys, and scientific scrutiny of the artefacts.


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