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Saturday, Nov 26, 2022

Ancient ‘city of water wells’ to unlock the past 

The age-old city of Tayma, located in the province of Tabuk in Saudi Arabia’s northwest, was one of the most important commercial centers of the ancient world — one that served as a meeting point for civilizations from the East and Mediterranean.
The Royal Commission for AlUla has revived and restored heritage sites such as Tayma; Al-Najim market; Hadaj Well, which dates back over 2,500 years; and Al-Rumman Palace, a fortress built in 1919 and named after Prince Sheikh Abdul Karim Al-Rumman, ruler of Tayma at the time.

The earliest mention of Tayma can be found in ancient Assyrian inscriptions, which described it as a rich city of water wells.

Tayma, one of three oases in the area, including AlUla and Khaybar, will be open to the public after restoration.

“These three oases — AlUla, Khaybar and Tayma — served as important stops on the ancient incense route,” said Ahmed Aliman, the first official tourist guide in AlUla to receive his license from from the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Heritage.

Aliman, who has been giving tours of the region since 2008, has strong roots in the area, which has been home to his family for at least six centuries.

A 136-year-old rock inscription by his great grandfather was recently discovered nearby.

On Nov. 11, the Royal Commission for Al-Ula launched the inaugural “Ancient Kingdoms” festival to celebrate the revival of these ancient oases, and to connect AlUla with the governorates of Tayma and Khaybar through a range of cultural and historical experiences.

The festival, which takes place until Nov. 27, aims to foster domestic and international tourism to the region, and features cultural experiences that revive traditions dating back thousands of years.
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