Earlier this month, the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) held an Archaeology Convention at the National Museum of Riyadh—the Kingdom’s first-ever exhibit aimed at elevating the importance of preserving the country’s rich cultural heritage. The event, which fell under the Kingdom’s “Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Cultural Heritage Initiative,” follows a string of global events celebrating Saudi Arabia’s antiquities. The Roads of Arabia Expo showcased more than 300 archaeological masterpieces in more than 10 cities across Europe and the U.S.
From diving into ancient trade routes to uncovering traditions embedded among the Islamic pilgrimage to Makkah, the National Antiquities Forum showcased antiquities from prehistoric times though the end of the fourteenth century. Separate workshops explored the latest innovations in archeological excavation, while addressing the role the media and citizens alike can play in cultivating a national responsibility to protect historic artifacts.
The Archaeology Convention secured countless donations of recovered artifacts; Among these, Nina Myer of San Francisco donated pottery shards, coins, glass bracelet pieces, and beads her mother collected in the early 1960s. Boon Rhea of Atlanta and Marian Ferguson of Washington, D.C. donated various artifacts, including pottery vessels, from when they spent time in Saudi Arabia. The artifacts underscore Saudi Arabia’s deep history—and the wide reach in which its cultural antiquities have spread across the globe
The forum aspired to raise awareness, promote national belonging among citizens, educate the Saudi youth about the country’s cultural heritage and bring about a paradigm shift in their perception. But even more, the exhibit underscored the Kingdom’s commitment to making antiquities a matter of social responsibility.
Read more at Al Arabiya.