AlUla, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia – Bettany Hughes, the international award winning  British historian and documentary presenter, and Levison Wood, a celebrated author and explorer, discovered the secrets of one of the world's most enchanting destinations when they attended the first AlUla World Archaeology Summit. The inaugural summit, which was held from 13 to 15 September, convened leaders from archaeology and related disciplines to foster cross-cultural and interdisciplinary discussions.

Held at AlUla’s iconic mirrored conference centre Maraya, the AlUla World Archaeology Summit welcomed a host of experts, academic leaders, government organisations, NGOs, and more, offering a dynamic platform to advance the fields of archaeology and cultural heritage management.

Hughes and Wood, popular TV personalities, attended the summit and simultaneously explored the ancient city of AlUla, which has established itself as both a luxury boutique destination and a place of deep heritage where 7,000 years of civilisation and 200,000 years of shared human history can be discovered.

Hughes has enthralled audiences across the globe with her spellbinding documentaries. Her recent work includes the TV shows 'Exploring India's Treasures with Bettany Hughes', 'From Paris to Rome with Bettany Hughes', and 'Pompeii: Secrets of the Dead'.

Wood, a world-renowned explorer with 11 best-selling books to his name, has transported viewers to diverse and remote corners of the world through his captivating shows, including 'Walking the Himalayas' and 'Arabia with Levison Wood.'

About AlUla

Located 1,100 km from Riyadh, in North-West Saudi Arabia, AlUla is a place of extraordinary natural and human heritage. The vast area, covering 22,561km², includes a lush oasis valley, towering sandstone mountains and ancient cultural heritage sites dating back thousands of years to when the Lihyan and Nabataean kingdoms reigned.

The most well-known and recognised site in AlUla is Hegra, Saudi Arabia’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site. A 52-hectare ancient city, Hegra was the principal southern city of the Nabataean Kingdom and is comprised of more than 100 well preserved tombs with elaborate facades cut out of the sandstone outcrops surrounding the walled urban settlement.

Current research also suggests Hegra was the most southern outpost of the Roman Empire after conquering the Nabataeans in 106 CE.

In addition to Hegra, AlUla is home to fascinating historical and archaeological sites such as: Ancient Dadan, the capital of the Dadan and Lihyan Kingdoms, which is considered one of the most developed 1st-millennium BCE cities of the Arabian Peninsula; thousands of ancient rock art sites and inscriptions at Jabal Ikmah; Old Town, a labyrinth of more than 900 mudbrick homes developed from at least the 12th century, and Hijaz Railway and Hegra Fort, key sites in the story and conquests of Lawrence of Arabia.

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