Historic Jeddah Reveals Ancient Treasures from the Rightly Guided Caliphs Era

The Historic Jeddah Program, in collaboration with the Heritage Authority, revealed a significant archaeological discovery comprising approximately 25 artifacts, the oldest of which trace back to the first and second centuries AH (seventh and eighth centuries AD). These findings were unearthed across four historical sites, including the Othman Mosque, Ibn Affan's archaeological Shuna, sections of the eastern moat, and the northern wall. The initiative falls under the broader scope of the Historic Jeddah Revival Project initiated by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz to safeguard national monuments, underscore historical sites, bolster Jeddah's cultural prominence, and align with the goals outlined in the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 for preserving archaeological sites.

Commencing in November 2020, the archaeological survey and excavation efforts yielded a trove of artifacts, totaling 11,405 ceramic materials, 11,360 animal bone materials, 1,730 shell materials, 685 building materials, 191 glass materials, and 72 metal pieces, totaling 531 kg. Studies at the Othman bin Affan Mosque unveiled materials dating from the early Islamic era to the modern era, with a notable connection to the island of Ceylon, showcasing Jeddah's historical trade links.

The Shuna archaeological site showcased architectural remnants dating back to the thirteenth century AH, with pottery materials from Europe, Japan, and China likely dating to the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries AH. Excavations at the Al-Kidwa site revealed parts of the eastern moat dating back to the late twelfth century AH. Moreover, historical cemeteries in Jeddah unveiled tombstones made of stones, granite, and marble, some likely from the second and third centuries AH.

The studies encompassed archaeological excavations, radiocarbon sample analyses, soil analyses, geophysical studies, and scientific examinations of discovered materials. Additionally, more than 250 wooden samples from 52 archaeological buildings were sent to international laboratories for detailed study. The documentation, preservation, and inclusion of these discoveries in the National Register of Antiquities were overseen by the Historic Jeddah Program in collaboration with the Heritage Authority, involving specialized national personnel dedicated to safeguarding and recording archaeological sites. The broader Antiquities Project in Historic Jeddah commenced in January 2020, focusing on Othman bin Affan Mosque, Al-Shouna, parts of the northern wall, and the Al-Kadwa area.


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