Our approach involved the systematic archaeological survey of four jebels (hills): Jebel Qattar, Jebel Gattar A, Jebel Gattar B and Jebel Katefeh.
The second aim of our research was to interpret the distribution of the Thamudic inscriptions and animal imagery around the jebels.
Three of the sandstone jebels surveyed lie 16km east of Jebel Umm Sanman.
The lower reaches of the four jebels were systematically surveyed on foot while the middle and upper reaches were surveyed where it could be done safely.
A chi-square test revealed that fewer occurrences of Thamudic rock art than expected are located up the jebels in comparison to late prehistoric sites (n = 90, 3 d.
Late prehistoric petroglyphs feature at three of the four jebels (Figures 7 & 8).
If the palaeolakes were dry when the art was drawn, one would expect the art to be randomly distributed around the jebels, but this is not the case.
Instead, the art is more evenly dispersed around the jebels but with an emphasis on their western sides, mainly on boulders on the base.
There are no recorded ancient caravan routes between Ha'il and Jubbah to support this hypothesis, but given that the jebels are highly visible in the landscape and are situated near the narrowest crossing point of the desert, it is not inconceivable that merchant traders, caravanserai or nomadic peoples passed through and encountered or made the rock art (Figure 3).
The information presented above concerning rock art at four jebels in Jubbah shows the merits of interpreting rock art from a landscape perspective.
Breakdown of the frequency of rock art styles at the four jebels in the study area, showing that Jebel Qattar and Jebel Katefeh, the two jebels with associated palaeolakes, contain the highest proportion of late prehistoric art.
1978) hypothesised that late prehistoric rock art coincided with periods of high rainfall at Jebel Umm Sanman, where grazing bovids (i.