Saudi Arabia’s Maida’n Salah – The Tombs

The Tombs

 

A large draw of Maida’n Salah are the many tombs from the Nabateean people.  If you are not aware, the tombs are where the Nabateean’s buried their dead.  Some of the tombs have inscriptions outside (provided by archeological teams) which identify some of the families who occupied specific tombs.  Some tombs were for women only; some for men.  Others held entire families.  Most of the tombs which were similar to a room one could step into could be described as a chamber with indentations carved into the sides of the chamber where the bodies were laid to rest.  There was no evidence of artifacts or jewels or any other treasures had been buried in the tombs with the deceased as had been done in Egypt.  And as I mentioned in one of the earlier introductory posts about Maida’n Salah, there was a distinguished class structure with elite and richer families having large spacious tombs where by comparison, the poorer Nabateean’s were laid to rest into the ground itself.  When one views the actual size of the carved burial plot, it makes one think the Nabateean’s were below average in size.  The largest plot did not exceed 5 feet and the plots were also pretty narrow as well, maybe eight to ten inches across.  It is likely that not all of the tombs have been uncovered yet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

According to one reference which I read, it states that Maida’n Salah has 113 tombs dated to the period from the first century BC to the years 75 AD.  Some of the famous tombs include Qasr Al-Ajouz, Qasr Al-Bint and Magnificent Qasr known as Al-Fareed.  Al-Fareed is the only tomb which has four pillars decorating the entrance as compared to the other larger tombs which traditionally have only two.

 

                                 

 

      

 

 

The tombs are set in Al-Diwan, the religious center of the Nabateeans, where they worshipped Allat and Manat.  A separate area not too far from the tombs was set up where they worshipped, had a temple and held various sacrifices.

 

                     

 

 

 

 

        

 

                             

 

     

 

16 Responses

  1. I take it that there is nothing much around these areas and it is pretty far removed. How do they ensure no one removes anything from the site or that there is no graffiti sprayed?

    I seem to remember reading somewhere that this was indeed a problem for some remote Saudi archaeological sites and that they were defaced by graffiti etc.. by some visitors.

  2. The sites are protected by high fencing all around the area. And for entrance into the primary Maida’n Salah area requires passing through a gate which has security. The security is present to ensure the sites are not defaced or tampered with as well as monitoring the access and safety of visitors.

  3. hiii im not sure i u are aware that it is said by the the prophet mohamed (saw) that we should not go to this place and by pass it i we are travelling as it is a cursed place…

  4. Thank you for the wonderful illustrated stories of Maida’n Salah and of your adventures there. Always glad to learn about the mysterious Nabateans.
    And about your country too.

  5. I will not get into any kind of a debate when it comes to the Prophet (PBUH) however it is a fact that Maida’n Salah is a part of Saudi Arabia’s history and heritage.

  6. Great photo’s! I can only imagine what an amazing experience it must have been to actually walk around there!
    It is great to share this even on the internet!
    And even with the véry smáll pictures….

  7. Thanks Aafke!

    I have to be careful with photos since WordPress offers a limited amount of space and if photos are too large, the space will fill up fast!

    I’m glad you enjoyed this series of posts on travel in the Kingdom.

  8. […] a side note, American Bedu has blogged about Mada’in Saleh and the tombs of the Nabataeans in a series of interesting […]

  9. […] And maybe take a piece of coral as a souvenir. Or they can visit one of our ancient cities, such as Madin Saleh, which was founded before Christianity. These cities are huge pieces of art carved into the […]

  10. I’m no expert on the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) but it my understanding that visits to Maidan Saleh are actually encouraged – to let us see what happened to people who did not believe in God – how they were punished…

    Anyhow, why make a trip to Jordan – if this place is here… and even better than that one.

  11. @Matthew – Welcome! Interesting perspective…we had a great guide who never mentioned anything like that though.

  12. Matthew–why not make both trips. I think the site at Petra is more complete as it was the capital city. Maidan Saleh is the second largest of the Nabatean cities. Both seem well worth while (along with the other ancient cities of Saudi). 🙂

  13. kindly send me where is maidan saleh located?

  14. @sardar qamar – maidan saleh is in Saudi Arabia in the Hijaz Province between Medinah and Tabuk. The nearest town is Al Ula.

  15. I HAVE BEEN TO PETRA, JORDAN. IT WAS AN EXCELLENT EXPERIENCE TO BE AMONG THE NABATIANS. WHAT A NATION IT WAS? THEY WERE GIANTS WHO MADE SUCH A GIGANTIC AND MARVELOUS STRUCTURES WHILE CUTTING THE MOUNTAINS. HATS OFF FOR THEM
    NOW I AM VISITING MADAIN SALAH SOON. LETS SEE.

  16. Welcome Shahid and how fortunate you have visited Petra. I am confident you will also enjoy your visit to Maidan Saleh and I hope you will provide us an update with your thoughts after your visit.

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