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Marid Castle – Tracing Back to 1st and 2nd Centuries in Dumat Al-Jandal, Saudi Arabia

Nestled within the historic confines of Dumat Al-Jandal's old town, the venerable Marid Castle stands perched at an elevation of 620 meters above sea level, commanding a picturesque vista over the northwestern Saudi city.

This site stands as a beacon among Jouf province's archaeological and historical treasures, a region currently experiencing a flourishing surge in tourism.

The saga of Marid Castle finds its first echoes in the annals of the third century, when Zenobia, the indomitable queen of Palmyra, set her sights on Dumat Al-Jandal and Tayma. Yet, her aspirations were met with an unyielding fortress. In the face of Marid Castle's resolute defenses, history recalls her lament, "Marid has rebelled, and Ablaq has glorified," paying tribute to the castle's fortitude. The architectural narrative of the castle is punctuated by its distinctive conical towers, bearing witness to architectural evolution spanning from the Nabataean era through the post-Islamic emergence, culminating in constructions that took shape a mere 80 years ago.

Central to the castle's layout is its primary edifice, embodying a dual essence - its lower portion hewn from stone, while its upper realm is a testament to the malleability of mud. Echoes of its storied past resonate through the rooms designated for sentinels, vantage points for archers, and platforms for observation. The castle is encompassed by a protective wall punctuated with strategically positioned apertures and gateways to the north and south.

Intriguing traces of history have been unearthed within Marid Castle's enclaves, as excavations carried out in 1976 revealed a trove of archaeological artifacts. Among these treasures are Nabataean and Roman pottery fragments, offering tangible connections to the bygone 1st and 2nd centuries.