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Saudi Arabia is mostly characterized by volcanoes and deserts. Many parts are rugged and unwelcoming. In former times, the unhospitable territory was ruled by clans who often fought against each other. For fertile land was and still is scarce.

Ancient petroglyphs tell stories from a time when the Arabian Peninsula still was a fertile Savannah, but that time is long gone now. Caravan routes cross through the desert. Merchants like the legendary Nabataeans were transporting goods along these routes across the peninsula on their camels. In the Saudi town of Mada’in Saleh, they left their marks by building massive grave monuments. The city of Mecca was just another caravan post on the legendary Incense Route until the seventh century CE.