A major site of the Nabataean civilisation

Al-Hijr Archaeological Site (Madâin Sâlih)2008

UNESCO World Heritage

UNESCO World Heritage

The first modern account of the Nabataean evidence at Hegra comes from Charles Doughty, who visited the site in the 1870s and whose accounts of the site were published in his 1888 work Travels in Arabia Deserta. Antonin Jaussen and Raphaël Savignac followed in the early 1900s, studying the site and publishing their work in the landmark Mission archéologique en Arabie. The monumental tombs of Hegra were grouped into areas designated by them. Significant concentrations of tombs include those at Qasr al-Bint, al-Khuraymat and Jabal al-Mahjar.
Al-Khuraymat lies to the southwest of the Hegra site. This collective area of rocky outcrops features approximately 53 tombs, with differing facades and ornamentation. Many of them have been affected by weathering.
The tombs of Hegra, and indeed tombs elsewhere in the Nabataean monuments, functioned as colossal family memorials that also played a role for the living that would continue to return and visit them. They may have made offerings there, evidenced by objects found in Hegra’s tombs that include gaming pieces, lamps and bells. Many of Hegra’s tombs would have been used for secondary burials.


  • Title: A major site of the Nabataean civilisation
  • Creator: Al-Hijr Archaeological Site (Madâin Sâlih)
  • Date Created: 2008
  • Location Created: Saudi Arabia
  • Rights: Mohammed Babelli
  • Location: Saudi Arabia
  • Inscription Criteria: Criteria: (ii)(iii)
  • Date of Inscription: 2008
  • Category of Site: Cultural site

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