Jakarta, CNBC Indonesia – Archaeologists have unearthed a 4,500-year-old network of highways, surrounded by ancient tombs in Saudi Arabia. It is said that the road and the tomb are well maintained.
Launching CNN, this research was carried out by archaeologists from the University of Western Australia over the past year. The results of the research were published in the journal entitled Holocene in December 2021.
The research involved aerial surveys conducted by helicopter, land surveys and excavations and examination of satellite imagery.
The journal said the ‘cemetery road’ runs north-west of Al-‘Ula and Khaybar districts. Not much research has been done on the place before.
“People who live in this area have known it for thousands of years. But I don’t think it’s really known until we get satellite images of how widespread they are,” researcher Matthew Dalton told CNN. ).
“Often you’ll find main roads tend to follow the same route as highways because they tend to be the shortest route between the two places they go. And actually, in some cases, the tombs themselves are so congested that you can’t help but walk the ancient route itself. , because you are surrounded by graves,” he continued.
Photo: 4500 Years Old Street in Saudi Arabia (Royal Commission via AlUla/AAKSA)
4500 Year Old Road in Saudi Arabia (Royal Commission via AlUla/AAKSA)
Most of the tombs are in the form of pendants or rings. The ring tombs involve a pyramid surrounded by a two-meter-high wall, while the hanging tombs have a beautiful tail.
Research using radiocarbon found that a concentrated cluster of samples dates from between 2600 and 2000 BC, although the tombs continued to be reused until about 1,000 years ago.
“These tombs are 4,500 years old, and they still stand as tall as the originals, which is completely unheard of,” said Melissa Kennedy, another researcher.
“So I think that’s what specifically distinguishes Saudi Arabia from other regions — just the degree of preservation is unbelievable,” he continued.
Kennedy believes either individuals or small groups are buried at the site. This team of archaeologists have looked at around 18,000 graves along the burial path while 80 of them have been sampled or excavated for research.
The researchers are still not sure why the tombs were built along the route, although this is actually similar to land holdings in Greece and Rome.
“This way of showing ownership might, could be one of the reasons the tomb was built. And there may be an element of you burying your near and dear ones along the route, because you’ll be passing by a lot, and you have a place to remember them,” Dalton said.
The next step will be to do more radio carbon dating and get back to the field, before analyzing the data.
More discoveries are expected in the future as this road may stretch into Yemen, especially as similar tombs have been found in that country and northern Syria.
“The third millennium is a very important period of time. That’s when the Pyramids were built. And it was there that many different cultures interacted with each other for the first time on such a large scale. So to see a display of this monumental burial landscape in this period was really exciting. And the walk It’s a great new research that basically has to be followed,” said Kennedy.