Saudi Arabia announced on November 7 that its archaeologists had discovered a rock carrying an ancient hieroglyphic inscription of an Egyptian pharaoh, the first confirmed pharaoh-era relic discovered in the kingdom, the local Arab News has reported.

The discovery was made in July near the ancient oasis of Tayma, Tabuk province, which has been posited as a stop on an ancient land route between the western coast of Arabia and the Nile Valley, said the paper, quoting the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquity (SCTA) vice-president Ali al-Ghabban. “The rock was bearing an inscription of King Ramses III, one of the kings who ruled ancient Egypt between 1192-1160 B.C.,” Ghabban told reporters.

Archaeologists believe that the trade route connected the Nile Valley and the Egyptian city of Suez, then crossed the Sinai Peninsula to Arabia.

Ghabban noted that a temple of King Ramses III had been found near the port of Abu Zenima on the Gulf of Suez and that several inscriptions similar to the one found in Tayma had been discovered in the Sinai Peninsula.

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