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Medieval tombstones unearthed in Mecca car park dig Open in fullscreen

The New Arab Staff

Medieval tombstones unearthed in Mecca car park dig

The haul includes a tombstone dating to the year 1257 [Getty]

Date of publication: 24 June, 2020

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A dig in a car park in the Muslim holy city of Mecca has delivered some unexpected results.


A haul of 24 engraved artefacts was unearthed during a car park dig in the Saudi city of Mecca, local media reported.

A spokesperson for the Secretariat of the Holy Capital, Engineer Raed bin Abdullah Samarqandi, said that medieval tombstones were among the items, including one which dates back to the year 1257.

The items have been handed over to the Saudi ministry of tourism.

Saudi Arabia's tourism commission was recently elevated to become a ministry just months after the kingdom started issuing tourist visas for the first time.

King Salman's upgrade of the government body overseeing tourism reflects the growing importance of the sector to boost the kingdom's non-oil revenue.

Read also:  2,000-year-old camel carvings discovered in Saudi Arabia

The conservative kingdom, under fire over human rights abuses, has accelerated investment in PR campaigns promoting tourism and the country's historical sites.

Out of 4,000 registered archaeological sites in Saudi Arabia, 1,500 are examples of rock art

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