Deep in the Saudi Desert, hidden in between rocks and groves there seems to be a spooky site portraying ancient arts of camels. The sculptures are so old and eroded one can barely tell what they represent. A weary wanderer through the desert may even think that he was going mad. But no, these carvings into the stone of camels and perhaps horses are actually very real.
So who made them and why are they here?
Researchers work on The Camel Site, trying to figure out who the authors may be. Is it a religious site? That is one theory, time and erosion have made all signs of the monument’s creation hard to track. The site also spreads all across the Sakak basin to Saudi Arabia Jawf province, with such a large site there has been much human interference. This means that historians are not really even sure what time they originate from!
The estimation is some time between 100 B.C and A.D 100 someone carved these creatures into the stone. This is by comparing the style of the art to other known creations of this era, only this way can researchers narrow anything down. Yet the fascinating thing about this site is there are two distinctive types of sculptures.
The first style is more of a monument, carving the rocks to different heights, giving the stone high and low reliefs. This plays with the way our eyes the depth and creates a camel-like image. The other technique is more like modern day art, simply carving the outline of the camel into the rock.
What did these carvings represent in this society? This is what researchers are trying to figure out. Some areas of the carvings are very smooth such as the camels head. This supports the theory that they were part of some ritual which required you to touch this part of the carving, after centuries of it being touched the rock has become smooth.
Or were they landmarks? A way for the people of the time to locate themselves when crossing the dangerous Saudi Desert? They could have been a signal for travelers that this passage was safe. If that was the case, let’s just hope they also had someone selling water!