Five Chinese archeologists joined an excavation of ancient seaside ruins in Saudi Arabia on Monday, marking the first cooperation between China and the Arab country in the field of archeology.
The archeologists, from the National Center of Underwater Cultural Heritage under the State Administration of Cultural Heritage, will take part in the excavation of the ruins, known as al-Serrian, until April 13.
According to the State Administration of Cultural Heritage, six Saudi archaeologists will work alongside the Chinese experts to explore the Saudi port ruins on the Red Sea.
With the support of the governments of both countries, the team will make use of high-tech equipment such as mapping, aerial drones and digital surveys, as well as 3D modeling during the project.
Cooperation on studying and researching the finds from the excavation will continue for a period of five years.
Located at the southwest tip of the Arabian Peninsula, al-Serrian was one of the major gateways for Hajj pilgrims to Mecca and played an important role as a trade hub leading to the north.
Jiang Bo, the team leader for the Chinese archaeologists, explained that according to ancient travelogues al-Serrian used to be a busy port with mosques, markets and residential areas during the 13th century.
It is believed the port was a major trade point along the ancient Maritime Silk Road.
The Maritime Silk Road was a ancient route that connected China to Southeast Asia, the Indonesian archipelago, the Indian subcontinent, the Arabian peninsula and Africa.