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Mohammed Abdullah, a 22-year-old university student from Jeddah, hoists up his phone as he walks between the hundreds of inscriptions and drawings carved into the gorge of Jabal Ikma, livestreaming his visit.

“We saw photos of a rock tomb in a history book, but we thought these were a cursed people that had nothing to do with us,” says Mr. Abdullah.

“We never thought that these people were Arabs and could be our ancestors.”

“This is something to really be proud of.” The Royal Commission for Al Ula, along with French, German, and British teams and colleagues from King Saud University, will expand excavations and are set to undertake specialized studies to learn more how these ancient peoples lived, cultivated, and traded here over the millennia.

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