This section provides the visitor with the content and background for the subjects in the petroglyphs, such as humans, animals, and plants. It also provides interpretations of complex scenes that incorporate many figures that together convey an event. The scenes mostly depict activities relating to hunting and warfare. In this section, the visitor will learn about the people who created the rock art of Saudi Arabia and their environment.
Interpersonal conflict is not obvious in Neolithic panels at Jubbah and Shuwaymis, where hunting scenes prevail. There is one panel …
Human figures are of extreme interest, although their full meanings continue to elude us. Neolithic hunters in Ha’il province were tall, slender individuals with novel heads shaped like stovepipes with an angular symbol on top, probably connoting a headdress or a hairstyle. No features are portrayed on the individuals’ faces.
The domestic cattle depicted in Saudi rock art are similar in appearance to those shown in Egyptian art from the New Kingdom. Their horns are relatively long, lyre-shaped and more or less vertical. There is often a small bump at the shoulders most likely reflecting elongated thoracic spines, rather than a true hump like that found in Zebu cattle from India.
In ancient times, there were three species of gazelle in Saudi Arabia: the Mountain Gazelle, the Saudi Gazelle, now extinct, and the Sand Gazelle. Gazelles were once much more abundant on the Arabian Peninsula, but the combination of hunting and overgrazing by livestock have greatly depleted their numbers, leaving only small relict populations