The Protohistoric and Antique Landscapes of Qaryat al-Faw

The Saudi Heritage Commission Archaeological Mapping Project (2021-2022)


  • Guillaume Charloux CNRS, UMR 8167 Orient & Méditerranée
  • François Cristofoli RCHeritage
  • Thomas Creissen Evéha International
  • Majed Alanizi Heritage Commission, Saudi Ministry of Culture
  • Antoine Darchambeau Evéha International
  • Alessia Prioletta French National Centre for Scientific Research CNRS, UMR 8167 Orient et Méditerranée
  • Sabrina Save Amélie SARL
  • Jérémie Schiettecatte French National Centre for Scientific Research CNRS, UMR 8167 Orient et Méditerranée
  • Najla Alsuair Heritage Commission, Saudi Ministry of Culture
  • Abdulelah Altaymani Heritage Commission, Saudi Ministry of Culture
  • Quentin Vitale LabComGEO-HERITAGE, CNRS-UMR 5133-Archéorient
  • Alexandrine Wadel RCHeritage


Arabian oasis, pre-Islamic city, Bronze age necropolis, avenues of tapered structures, prospection


Capital city of successive major tribal principalities, Qaryat al-Faw was a key commercial centre in the South of the Arabian Peninsula in antiquity. Rediscovered in the early 20th century, the site has been excavated by King Saud University since 1972. In 2021-2022, in view of its nomination for inscription on the UNESCO World Heritage list, the Saudi Ministry of Culture has commissioned RC Heritage Co. to initiate urgent conservation studies, and develop preliminary research for the site enhancement and preservation. This work has led us to a reappraisal of the archaeological cartography of the site. Preliminary surveys revealed the overall organisation of the micro-region in the different periods of its occupation, in particular a strongly connected network of avenues, necropolises and water sources in protohistory, and a concentrically organised oasis in antiquity, surrounded by a palm grove with thousands of plantation pits watered by a channel network, a caravanserai area, and an open-air sanctuary.


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How to Cite

Charloux, G., Cristofoli , F. ., Creissen, T., Alanizi, M. ., Darchambeau, A., Prioletta , A. ., Save, S., Schiettecatte, J. ., Alsuair, N. ., Altaymani, A. ., Vitale, Q. ., & Wadel, A. . (2023). The Protohistoric and Antique Landscapes of Qaryat al-Faw: The Saudi Heritage Commission Archaeological Mapping Project (2021-2022). Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies, 52, 45–71. Retrieved from

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