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CLAIM ID

48a83e07

Eight thousand years old Hindu temple found during excavation in Saudi Arabia.

Remains of 8000-year-old Neolithic human settlements were found during an excavation. There is no mention of any Hindu idols or gods.


Context:

Recently, reports of an excavation program in Saudi Arabia sent the right-wing in india into a frenzy. Several social media users published claims about an ancient temple site dating back 8000 years reportedly discovered in the city of Al-Faw, southwest of Riyadh. The social media users also posted alleged pictures of old temples in Saudi Arabia claiming that many inscriptions and picture images from the sites resemble the ancient Hindu texts and have many similarities with the ancient Hindu-Indic civilization. Claims about idols of Hindi idols being found during the excavation were also made.

In fact:

According to Arab News, on July 26, 2022, led by the Saudi Heritage Commission, a group of Saudi and French archaeologists uncovered new findings in the Al-Faw Archeological Area in the Empty Quarter south of Riyadh. The findings that looked like ancient human settlements dating back to the Neolithic (Neolithic period, or New Stone Age, is an Old World archaeological period and the final division of the Stone Age) period were discovered with extensive ground survey work, archaeological probe distribution, laser scanning, and ground-penetrating radar among other techniques. The findings were discovered from 100 km to the south of Wadi Al-Dawaser on the modern road linking the cities of Wadi Al-Dawaser and Najran. The report mentioned no reference to Hindu scriptures or idols.

Talking about the discovery, CEO of the Heritage Commission of Saudi Arabia, Dr. Jasser bin Suleiman Al-Harbash wrote on Twitter, "Saudi Heritage Commission discovers new archaeological findings." 

Saudi Gazette—a popular daily newspaper in Saudi Arabia, states that the archaeological survey has made several discoveries, like the remains of a stone temple and parts of an altar, where the locals of Al-Faw would have practiced their rituals and ceremonies. It states that several devotional inscriptions were found throughout the grounds, enriching the understanding of the religious belief system of the community that occupied the site, and one of the inscriptions in the Jabal Lahaq sanctuary addressed to the god Kahal, the deity of Al-Faw. 

On September 5, 2022, Arkeonews - A Turkey archaeological news website, posted a few images of the discovery site. It said that the findings at the Al-Faw site demonstrate that a culture of temples, rituals and idol worship existed in the monolithic, non-idol worshipers, anti-temple practices of Islam today. And these findings may also challenge the widely accepted belief that Islamic domination civilized the desert people of Arabia. There was again no mention of any linkages to Hinduism.

Describing the cultural landscape of the Al-Faw archaeological area, UNESCO - World Heritage Convention stated that the Mineans from South Arabia, Lihyanites, and Nabataeans from the North-West were settled in Qaryat Al-Faw. The town was successively the capital city of the ancient kingdoms of Dhakir, Qahtân, and then Kinda around the 3rd century CE. 

The verdict:

We have marked this claim as false because there is no mention of Hindu idols found in the Al-Faw archaeological area in Saudi Arabia. However, the site exploration has not stopped and new discoveries might be made.

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