Their significance is no more certain than that of the more famous megaliths at Stonehenge, or the dolmens of Jordan. Although Saudi archeologist Khaleel al-Muakiel believes it is likely al-rajajil were used not only for religious purposes but also as a "meeting place for people from the surrounding areas, probably a political center," he agrees this can be no more than speculation. A 1977 dig at the base of one set of pillars found neither votive offerings, grave goods nor bones of sacrificial animals, any one of which would have bolstered the hypothesis that the stones had had a religious function or meaning.
The construction of al-rajajil may also have been related to trade. Because of al-Jawf's natural resources and strategic location, major roads connecting the Arabian Peninsula, Egypt, Mesopotamia and Syria crossed at al-Jawf.
During the Chalcolithic, or Copper, Age, approximately 6000 years ago, the population of al-Jawf laboriously erected 54 groups of squared-off stone pillars, some of which measured up to three meters (9'6") in height. Called al-rajajil ("the men") today, the pillars appear to the casual observer to be randomly placed, although a bird's-eye view shows that they are placed in roughly parallel east-west lines.
Bir Sisar, a huge, 2,000-year-old Nabataean well cut out of solid rock with staircases leading down into it.
The town of Sakaka looked so hostile to us (especially for the women travelling along) that for once we decided to have dinner at the hotel restaurant.
The food was ok and the service too but the atmosphere was lethal with no noise, no music, no customers except us.
Favorite Dish: Chicken Tikka (to be on the safe side)
Having the experience of living in Sakaka with a mixture of new and old ways is a wonderful feeling specially if you learn their local language.
Fondest memory: Sakaka is a quiet and conservative place. It has a small area where people do their businesses. One stretch of the main road you would find several kinds of merchandizing and small businesses like parlor, restaurants, groceries, home supplies and so on. The other side would be jewelry shops and nothing but jewelry for the whole block, it was amazing. Most businesses are open during the night due to colder temperature than during the day. It's quite a time well spent if one can appreciate the amenities and natural display the land has to offer. It's in the middle of nowhere, all directions coming from the place is dessert. It can be reached by land or air. In my own, Sakaka was one of a kind place. Plenty of sweet tamar (dates) that are locally produced, variety of vegetables, fruits and fish from Suez are abundant in the market place. Just beware of the "mutawa" and road checkpoints. They are armed and serious to implement the law.
Sakaka reminds me of lifestyles by the locals that I have only seen in the movies. Observing the everyday practice by the people it may be religion rites, social gathering, sports activities, local laws, conducting business and many others just blow my mind. Five times a day you would hear the sounds of the call for prayer then everything else stops. I mean all businesses come to a halt, no walking around no loud noises, everybody out of the stores and shops, work also stops for half and hour each. Big social gathering places have quarters separate for both males and females, food is served as common in huge platters, dancing is unique with swords swinging in the air and feet stumping on the sandy ground. Soccer is a favorite sports by the locals. Skin exposure and drinking alcohol are prohibited and if caught will be subject to strick punishment by detention with whipping. At night, you would see lights in the nearby dessert plain, where people gather lay their blankets on the sand and spend several hours in the open field.