Arts & Culture

Saudi Arabia celebrates 20 years of French partnerships in the field of antiquities preservation

The 20th anniversary of the French-Saudi partnership in the preservation of antiquities and cultural treasures was celebrated by the Saudi Ministry of Culture and the Royal Commission for Al-Ula Governorate.

To this end, a symposium on the history of the Saudi-French archaeological missions in Al-Ula Governorate and other cities was conducted at the National Museum in Riyadh for two days, SPA reported.

The symposium also highlighted the latest developments related to projects currently being implemented in the Kingdom, with the participation of experts from French and Saudi institutions.

The First Archaeological Mission

In 2002, the first modern Saudi-French archaeological mission set out from the historic city of Al-Hijr in Al-Ula, paving the way for more than 15 missions around the Kingdom, which carried out conservation projects and field works.

The Saudi-French partnership, in the field of heritage protection, contributed to supporting their commitment to preserving human heritage and was a key factor in continuing the success of archaeological excavations in Al-Ula.

Among the most significant artifacts discovered by the Saudi-French archaeological teams in Al-Ula is a head made of flint stone found in a tomb, dating back to the Neolithic period.

The authority also discovered a preserved skeleton of a 40-year-old woman, who is likely to have lived in the Nabataean period.

Dadan Kingdom

In the Kingdom of Dadan, a variety of full and half statues of sandstone were found, dating back to the period from the seventh to the first century BC.

The Royal Commission for Al-Ula Governorate also signed a contract with the Louvre Museum in Paris, France, which included the exhibition of a statue from the Lihyanian era as a way to highlight the historical and cultural heritage of Al-Ula Governorate.

Archaeological missions continue to follow the Al-Ula strategy, which highlights historical sites and human civilizations and cooperates with renowned experts worldwide.

Under the direction of the Royal Commission for the Al-Ula Governorate, joint work teams from the two nations are performing archaeological surveys, excavations, and restoration work throughout the Khyber Governorate, the Kingdom of Dadan, and the Al-Hajar region to the north of Al-Ula.

The excavation team is conducting work in the Kingdom of Dadan, to discover more information about its civilizational history. This history extended for more than 2,500 years, during which it was subject to the rule of the Lihyan civilization for several centuries.

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