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Throughout the rest of the 19th century, the Al Saud contested control of the interior of what was to become Saudi Arabia with another Arabian ruling family, the Al Rashid.

By 1891, the Al Rashid were victorious and the Al Saud were driven into exile in Kuwait.

2300 BC) discovered in a door-socket: "The ships of Dilmun brought him wood as tribute from foreign lands Thamud is the name of an ancient civilization in the Hejaz known from the 1st millennium BC to near the time of Muhammad.

More than 9,000 Thamudic inscriptions were recorded in south-west Saudi Arabia. 100, gave the name of Nabatene to the borderland between Arabia and Syria, from the Euphrates to the Red Sea.

One reason was to thwart Portuguese attempts to attack the Red Sea (hence the Hejaz) and the Indian Ocean.

The emergence of what was to become the Saudi royal family, known as the Al Saud, began in Nejd in central Arabia in 1744, when Muhammad bin Saud, founder of the dynasty, joined forces with the religious leader Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab, A much smaller second "Saudi state", located mainly in Nejd, was established in 1824.

Saudi Arabia is sometimes called "the Land of the Two Holy Mosques" in reference to Al-Masjid al-Haram (in Mecca) and Al-Masjid an-Nabawi (in Medina), the two holiest places in Islam.

In 930, the Qarmatians pillaged Mecca, outraging the Muslim world, particularly with their theft of the Black Stone.Following his death in 632, his followers rapidly expanded the territory under Muslim rule beyond Arabia, conquering huge and unprecedented swathes of territory (from the Iberian Peninsula in west to modern day Pakistan in east) in a matter of decades.Arabia soon became a more politically peripheral region of the Muslim world as the focus shifted to the vast and newly conquered lands.Their loosely controlled trading network, which centered on strings of oases that they controlled, where agriculture was intensively practiced in limited areas, and on the routes that linked them, had no securely defined boundaries in the surrounding desert.Trajan conquered the Nabataean kingdom, annexing it to the Roman Empire, where their individual culture, easily identified by their characteristic finely potted painted ceramics, was adopted into the larger Greco-Roman culture. Jane Taylor, a writer, describes them as "one of the most gifted peoples of the ancient world".

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