Nefud Expedition 2024

 Nefud Desert 2024

Expedition to path find a novel route across the Nefud desert and the fabled, “Sun’s Anvil” in alternatively fueled, low carbon-footprint vehicles. Now taking place in 2024

The Area of Exploration

The Nefud is a desert in the northern part of the Arabian Peninsula at 28.30°N 41.00°E occupying a great oval depression. It is 290 kilometres (180 mi) long and 225 kilometres (140 mi) wide, with an area of 103,600 square kilometres (40,000 sq mi).

The Nefud is a sand sea (erg) and is noted for its sudden violent winds, which account for the large crescent-shaped dunes. The sand in the Nefud is a brick-reddish colour and rain only comes once or twice a year. In some lowland areas, namely those near the Hejaz Mountains, there are oases where dates, vegetables, barley, and fruits are grown.

The Arabian peninsula and the Nefud were the gateway for the human expansion out of Africa multiple times over the past 400,000 years ago. 
This was made possible by a shift to a wetter climate, creating green corridors in the region. Recent archaeological and paleoclimatic studies show that these hominid migrations led to the formation of civilisations in the region.

“The Sun’s Anvil” is an area of the north west Nefud where the sun relentlessly beats down on a vast plain of white sand. Because of the heat, glare and lack of available water, the local Bedouins consider the Anvil as impossible to cross by camel in the daytime,. This remote, mystical area is characterised by the mirage and sand-devils conjured from the land by the rising breeze.

The Team

Garry Pratt
Lilith van Amerongen
Chris Beer
Alex Keefe
Alex Keefe

Expedition objectives

The primary objective of the 2024 Nefud Sun’s Anvil Expedition is to cross the Nefud and the Sun’s Anvil by pathfinding novel routes through the terrain in alternatively fuelled, low carbon-footprint vehicles. The secondary objectives are:
  •  To create and expedition template to minimise ecological disturbance and to reduce carbon footprint to a minimum

  • Locating and recording lost archaeological features and sites in collaboration with the Saudi Arabian Mada in Salih archaeological foundation

  • Creating maps of the route, terrain features and water sources
The expedition consists of six team member (please see biography section) and will be completed in three vehicles

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