Massif marvel: Tabuk’s Jibal Hisma beckons visitors


Saudi Gazette report

Jibal Hisma, the Saudi desert made of extraordinary shapes of sandstone massifs sculpted by erosion and surrounded by multi-color sand banks, captivates all visitors.

Located in the west of Tabuk city in the southwestern part of the Kingdom, this picturesque region is a splendid example of natural beauty engraved in rich historical and geological dimension. Jibal Hisma constitute thousands of rocky formations spread over hundreds of kilometres, each with a unique size and shape.

Since several centuries, Jibal Hisma has been considered a major station on the ancient trade route to and from the Arabian Peninsula, according to a report carried by the Saudi Press Agency.

Caravans and riders passed through it throughout successive human civilizations, and this explains the diversity and abundance of archaeological inscriptions on the rocks of its steep mountains. It is home of ancient rock arts and numerous Kufic Arabic inscriptions, dating back to the first decades of Islam. Jibal Hisma has proved its exceptional features that attracted humans for millennia.

Historians describe Hisma as a region with full of Thamudic inscriptions dating back to more than 2,600 years, as well as Arab writings for the period before and after the emergence of Islam. There is hardly any part of it without the Thamudians and ancient Arabs engraved their evidence on it.

The ancient people beautified places with inscriptions, especially the Kufi inscriptions through which people documented their travels and their living conditions.

With its many writings and inscriptions, Hisma embraces the rich historical legacy of this region that evoke avid interest of researchers in the history and growth of the Arabic language.

The site was the first to discover some Arabic inscriptions, later known as the Hasami dialect, which is an Arabic dialect similar to the Nabataean dialect and is the first Arabic writing in which the letters are related to each other as well as the Kufic script. These ancient evidences also carry a legacy that interprets part of the history of the Arabian Peninsula and its eternal language.