Historic Shada Mountain suffers decades of neglect

The historical Shada Mountain is 2,300 meters high and lies in Al-Mekhwa governorate, near Al-Baha.

Historic Shada Mountain suffers decades of neglect


Saudi Gazette report



BAHA — The historical Shada Mountain is 2,300 meters high and lies in Al-Mekhwa governorate, near Al-Baha. The distinctive mountain is known for its network of caves and steep rock formations. Besides, it has many old villages that are scattered around it, while some house can be found inside caves and between rock formations, Al-Hayat daily reported.

The mountain is famous for its coffee plantations and its apiaries that produce one of the most expensive honeys found in the Kingdom. The mountain was first surveyed in 1987 where studies were conducted on its plants and animals species.

Local residents, however, say the area lacks basic services such as paved roads and mobile phone towers. Deputy Minister for Transport Hathlool Al-Hathlool promised to visit the area to consider the possibility of paving a road to the mountain. The head of the Al-Baha branch of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA), Mansour Al-Bahoot, said the commission was conducting a study on the mountain to develop it for hikers.

Antiquities specialist, Ahmad Al-Ghamdi, said that there are many ancient caves in the mountain that have been inhabited by humans throughout the early ages.

“Many of these caves have very rare old drawings and carvings that date back between 2,000 and 6,000 B.C. The mountain has never been abandoned by residents and current residents are of Zahran and Ghamid tribes. High mountains in Al-Baha area experience snowfall during the winter season, resulting in creeks and small lakes that have contributed to the dense plantations and wild animals,” he said.

Al-Ghamdi explained that many drawings in the caves depict animals that have since become extinct. He believes some resemble drawings found in North Africa and the south of France.

“Some caves also have writings on their walls, but these writings are not recognized, and remain a mystery. Some of the drawings date back to 10,000 - 20,000 years ago, and some date back to prehistoric eras, which shows that humans first existed in the Arabian Peninsula,” he added.