First results of the 2020 and 2021 seasons of the Saudi-French Archaeological and Epigraphic Mission to Najrān in the area of Ḥimā (Najrān, Saudi Arabia)


  • Silvia Lischi University of Pisa
  • Jérôme-F. Haquet CNRS, UMR 8167 Orient & Méditerranée
  • Yamandú H. Hilbert Paleoanthropology, Senckenberg Centre for Human Evolution and Palaeoenvironment, Institute of Archaeological Sciences, University of Tübingen
  • Alessia Prioletta CNRS, UMR 8167 Orient & Méditerranée


Saudi Arabia, Southern Arabian Peninsula, Ḥimā, Archaeological survey, Remote Sensing


Since 2007, the Saudi-French Archaeological and Epigraphic Mission to Najrān (MAFSN) has been surveying the area of Ḥimā (north-east of Najrān); during these explorations, thousands of graffiti and rock art sites were recorded. In the 2020 and 2021 seasons, the MAFSN launched systematic archaeological surveys, test-pits and small-scale excavations, with particular attention to the structures scattered throughout the plain and near the rocky outcrops. Here we report on the results of both these fieldwork seasons with a preliminary typology of the archaeological structures and a collection of an array of archaeological materials. This is the first outcome of a wider and medium-term project that aims to draw a complete archaeological map of the area by combining field and remote sensing data collection methods. Additionally, survey activities aiming at the identification of prehistoric sites around the Ḥimā region were conducted and yielded a small number of prehistoric lithic scatters. Based on the technological and typological characteristics of the finds, an attribution to the earliest human occupations of the area, namely Lower and Middle Palaeolithic, is suggested. The spatial distribution of the archaeological structures will be compared with that of the rock carvings to identify possible correlations and to study the history of the human settlement in the Ḥimā region during the historical times up to the first centuries of Islam.


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How to Cite

Lischi, S., Haquet, J.-F. ., Hilbert, Y. H. ., & Prioletta, A. (2023). First results of the 2020 and 2021 seasons of the Saudi-French Archaeological and Epigraphic Mission to Najrān in the area of Ḥimā (Najrān, Saudi Arabia). Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies, 52, 237–253. Retrieved from

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