An ancient city in Saudi Arabia was flooded with sand, only...

, United Arab Emirates (CNN) — In these aerial photographs, the ruins of a city in Saudi Arabia that lived hundreds of years ago were submerged by sand, leaving only a part of a single building remaining.

The old city of Al-Juhfa is located on the left bank of Wadi Al-Ghaidah, east of Rabigh city in the Makkah region, specifically north of the Miqat Al-Juhfa at a distance of about 5 km on a rocky hill from the ground, according to the Saudi Heritage Authority.

The ancient city of Juhfa
Aerial view of the old city of JuhfaCredit: Abdulaziz Aldakheel/ Erth Team

All that remains of the city are only the remains of a dilapidated fortress called “Alia Palace”. Its architectural style dates back to the Abbasid era and is still covered with sand. There are many pieces of pottery, pottery and glass scattered around the site.

The Saudi Heritage Authority mentioned about the old city of al-Juhfa, the saying of Imam al-Harbi in the second half of the third century AH that “in al-Juhfa there is a pool of water and on its side is a basin and many wells, and an eye is in the middle of the valley, on it is a fortress and two doors, and the houses are in the market inside the fort.”

The ancient city of Juhfa
Close-up aerial photos show construction details of Alia Palace
Credit: Abdulaziz Aldakheel/ Erth Team

The leader and founder of the “Arth” team for aerial documentation, Saudi photographer Abdulaziz Al-Dakhil, who documented the remains of the ancient city of Al-Juhfa, explains to CNN in Arabic that the city of Al-Juhfa is one of the historical sites and one of the most important stations at which pilgrims stop to stand for rain. from the pool of water in it.

As for Al-Dakhil, the importance of the old city of Al-Juhfa lies in its historical position, which is an axis that falls within the interests of the Irth team for aerial documentation, which focuses on research, exploration, documentation and aerial exploration of these historical, archaeological and natural sites in the Kingdom, he said.

The ancient city of Juhfa
An angle showing the remains of Alia Palace in the city of Al-Juhfa Credit: Abdulaziz Aldakheel/ Erth Team

Al-Dakhil points out that Al-Juhfa is one of the cities mentioned in the history books, and now it has become a lost city, with only some of the foundations of the buildings remaining, adding that, through this documentation, he seeks to highlight this site to the general public.

The best view of this vanished city is from the air, where the city’s planning can be seen in terms of its urban assessment, the size of its houses, and its internal roads, according to Al-Dakhil.

Through the documentation process, Al-Dakhil and his team focused on clarifying the size of the houses and architectural spaces common in those centuries, and how previous civilizations built their homes and internal divisions, and with regard to the remaining buildings, such as, Alia Palace, they focused on the architecture and what materials were used in construction and architecture at that time .

This aerial chain covers three main sites, i.e. a general view of the destroyed city of Al-Juhfa, the “Alia” palace, in addition to the Miqat of Al-Juhfa.

Alia’s Archaeological Palace

Alia Palace in the city of Jahfa
The design of the Aliyah Palace is similar to the forts in its constructionCredit: Abdulaziz Aldakheel/ Erth Team

Alia Palace is a square residential building with a length of 26 meters, the same width, and a total area of ​​676 meters. The palace is characterized as a wide courtyard surrounded by the palace walls on all four sides.

The entrance to the palace is located on the northern side, which was completely destroyed, unlike the southern side, which was not affected, while parts of the eastern and western sides fell, which may be attributed to natural factors.

The palace was built on black rock, that is, basalt, irregular in shape, which was brought from the surrounding mountains.

It is worth noting that the palace has been subjected to deliberate excavations and vandalism in search of antiquities, and this appeared in a hole found in the southwest side.

The historical period to which this palace belongs can be inferred from some pottery shards of parts of the pots, in which parts of green glazed pottery appeared, which is the luster of metallic porcelain that appeared and became famous during the Abbasid period.

Miqat Al Juhfa

The ancient city of Juhfa
The Miqat of Al-Juhfa is one of the five timings of Ihram for Hajj and Umrah
Credit: Abdulaziz Aldakheel/ Erth Team

The meeqat of al-Juhfa is defined as a spatial meeqaat for the people of the Levant, the Maghreb and Egypt, and for all those who came through them, and it is where the pilgrims descend.

The Miqat of Al-Juhfa is located near the city of Rabigh, where people are forbidden from it. It is 183 kilometers from Mecca, and 5 kilometers from the archaeological site of Alia Palace.

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