26-Mar-2005 -- This was again a confluence hunter's weekend. Not only for us, the off-road drivers, also for the families. Since some time, Frank was already in contact with some archaeologists from Germany. They were part of a Sa`udi-German archaeological joint project in Taymā'.
The village Taymā' with about 25,000 inhabitants is located in an oasis in the province of Tabūk in a so-called "sabkha" (seasonal lake). Importance reached the town during participation of the trading route in between southern Arabia and the Gulf area, Mesopotamia and Egypt. The inner size of the ruins is app. 90 hectares (225 acres).
Finally, it was agreed that we will have the possibility to visit the historical sites on Friday, 25 March. At least it wasn't only us who took the possibility for the guided tour through the ruins, also some other Germans including the Ambassador and his wife showed their interest. We were able to see the excavation at the old city wall, the ditch, and the central area of Taymā' at Qurayya. Also a visit of the museum, the fort, and the old well in the middle of the town was arranged by the archaeologists. I think it was a pleasure for all of the participants to get skilled explanations about the history. Thanks again to all, who organized the visit and made it an unforgettable day. It was worth the trip from Riyāḍ. For more information about the historical site and the activities of the "German Archaeological Institute" visit their web site.
For three of us it was also an opportunity to focus on the confluence 28N 39E. Last November 2004, we tried to hit this Confluence coming from the East (28N 40E). But we couldn't manage it because of fuel shortage. This time we decided to tackle the Confluence from the West.
After we dropped our families late Friday evening at Tabūk airport, we camped outside the city. Saturday morning, we took off for the Confluence. We left the main road short after al-Qalība city and kept on going straight east to the Confluence. By mistake we entered an area that was surrounded by an earth embankment. When suddenly two Sa`udis in a pick-up showed up and kindly asked us to follow them and guided us to their tent, we got to know that we were inside a wildlife reserve. It took us a "lunch break" of three hours until we could continue our journey.
Finally, we reached the Confluence at the edge of the Nafūd sands surrounded by desert hyacinths (Cistanche tubulosa) at 3:40 p.m. They way out from the Confluence direction southwest to Taymā' was more then easy driving, compared to our morning trip. Again it was an exiting hunt of a Confluence.