Ancient Highways & Prehistoric Funerary Monuments Found in Saudi Arabia

© Photo : AAKSAU/AAKSAK and Royal Commission for AlUlaTombs flanking a funerary avenue in the al Ha’it Oasis
Tombs flanking a funerary avenue in the al Ha’it Oasis - Sputnik International, 1920, 18.01.2022
The archaeologists reportedly found an "incredible density of prehistoric funerary monuments," with nearly 10,000 drystone funerary structures being found in Khaybar county alone.
A network of “lost highways” linking oases has been discovered by archaeologists in Saudi Arabia, Science Alert reports.
According to the media outlet, these roads, marked with numerous ancient tombs, guided Bedouin people to water thousands of years ago.
"Funerary avenues were the major highway networks of their day, and show that the populations living in the Arabian Peninsula 4,500 years ago were far more socially and economically connected to one another than we previously thought," said Matthew Dalton, archaeologist from the University of Western Australia.
The archaeologists found what they described as an "incredible density of prehistoric funerary monuments" with "no equivalent elsewhere", with nearly 10,000 drystone funerary structures – most of them located near permanent water sources – discovered in Khaybar county alone.
"These oases, especially Khaybar, exhibit some of the densest concentrations of funerary monuments known worldwide," Dalton remarked. "The sheer number of Bronze Age tombs built around them suggests that populations had already begun to settle more permanently in these favorable locations at this time."
The media outlet also notes that by navigating from one oasis to another, the Bedouins from those ancient times could travel across large areas looking for “better lands and climates”, with the researchers noting that “by following only the networks of identified funerary avenues, it would be possible to traverse some 530 kilometers."
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