10 January 2022

Ranjajil Columns - Sakaka

The site of Rajajil (The Men) is near Sakaka, a city in north-western Saudi Arabia which is the capital of Al Jawf Province. It is located just to the north of the An Nafud desert. They are probably over 5,000 years old and consist of 54 groups of stones some of them three meters high. They go in parallel lines from east to west and the reason for them is still uncertain. The site is on high ground overlooking a large area of low level to its north, and the current site has an area of approximately 300 m × 500 m with an extension in the west, where there are a number of separate groups of stone on the main site. The site consists of a group of fifty four stone columns. The numbers of the columns in each group are differing from the other groups. Also columns are appearing compact straight lines, some columns rise to more than 3.5 m, while others did not exceed 50 cm in height due to the fall of the upper parts of some of these columns and the thickness of 75 cm per column. There are also writings on some of the columns. The site dates back to the copper age or the fourth millennium BC. These columns are believed to be primarily a religious site or second-class graves. Some believe that the stones were probably a meeting place for people in the area and possibly they were also a trade centre as many important trade roads crossed the Al -Jowf area as Sakaka is an oasis town on an ancient caravan route across the Arabian peninsula. The location of Al Rajajil site to some extent, looks like the site of "Stonehenge" which is located eight miles from Salisbury in England, a temple built from a combination of huge stones made in a circular motion, and is topped by a huge stone slabs. The location is fenced off and access is restricted. There is a visitor centre and if open, access is granted into the enclosed site and you can get close to the stones to take photographs. This is in my opinion one of the best historical locations in the Kingdom and very well worth a visit.