A painting of what looks like a lion in Hail - Still image from Reuters Feb. 8, 2017 video A painting of what looks like a lion in Hail - Still image from Reuters Feb. 8, 2017 video

10,000-yr-old rock art site in Saudi ready for visitors

Thu, Feb. 8, 2018
HAIL, Saudi Arabia - 8 February 2018: The Hail province in the north of Saudi Arabia contains the biggest and richest rock art complexes in the kingdom and the wider region.

Paintings of animals and humans in different shapes and sizes are carved into the rocks of al-Manjoor and Rata Mountains in the historical Shuwaymis site.

The complex was included in the UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites in 2015 as one of the world's largest open museums.

The inscriptions date back to almost 10,000 years, according to UNESCO.

One of the paintings features a caravan of camels carved into al-Manjoor Mountain and is almost 2,500 years old.

Other inscriptions on the mountains belong to the ancient al-Thamuddi writing.

The Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage is upgrading transport and accomodation facilities to attract visitors, part of the country's wider efforts to boost tourism.

Saudi Arabia recently announced plans to issue tourist visas to foreigners, as the country seeks to diversify its economy.

At present, foreigners travelling to Saudi Arabia are largely restricted to resident workers and their dependants, business travellers, and Muslim pilgrims who are given special visas to travel to holy sites.
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