WATCH: Chinese, Saudi archeologists unearth cultural relics in Saudi Arabia

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A Chinese-Saudi Arabian joint archaeological team discovered more than 100 ancient tombs and dozens of cultural relics in al-Serrian, a long abandoned Saudi Arabian port in Jeddah on the Red Sea.

China sent five archeologists to Saudi Arabia on March 26 to embark on a 20-day mission of excavating the ruins of al-Serrian together with 10 Saudi archeologists.


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The group deployed the latest technology in their search such as drones, digital surveys and mapping, as well as 3D modeling which helped them uncover two graveyards with more than 100 tombs comprising several dozen tombstones, pottery and ironware.

Among the findings were also some chinawares from ancient China's Song (960-1279) and Yuan (1271-1368) Dynasties. Jiang Bo, leader of the Chinese archeological team to Saudi Arabia, noted the significance of the discoveries to the ancient Maritime Silk Road trading route.

"This is a very important archeological achievement of our Maritime Silk Road, and it has also been recognized by the Saudi archaeologists. We have forged a good cooperative relationship with the Saudi archeologists this time," said Jiang.

The joint archeological project, which was agreed upon during Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to Saudi Arabia in January 2016, will last for five years. Abdulla al-Zahrani, manager of the Saudi National Archeological Center, said the program will provide information to help learn more about ancient Islamic civilization.

"The Saudi-Chinese project is one of the most important archaeological works carried out by the center at this important site.

It will provide a lot of information about the settlement period in the early to late Islamic civilization period," said Al-Zahrani.

Al-Serrian used to be a well-known trading port and a place for pilgrimage in the southwestern Arabian Peninsula. It was abandoned after the 15th century.

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