IN PICTURES: Saudi tourism body launches season of archaeological findings

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Some 44 international joint expeditions have been launched across Saudi Arabia in a season dubbed as the year of archeological findings, led by the Commission of National Tourism and Heritage.

The commission has recently expanded its surveys and excavations to include more archeological sites given thousands of historic sites across the country.

Archaeological surveys are being carried out in modern and scientific ways with the participation of Saudi teams and international missions from a number of universities and research centers specializing in archeology.

Saudi teams from local universities are also continuing to work in six archeological sites, such as the King Saud University, Hail, Jazan, and the Arab East College for Graduate Studies, within the framework of the commission’s cooperation with government universities and Saudi colleges.

The commission is implementing a number of archaeological survey projects in different parts of the Kingdom in 16 locations, all of which are aimed archaeological sites that date back to more than a million years, from prehistoric times to Islamic times.

In Riyadh, the King Saud University will continue to work on al-Faw archeological site for the third season. The Saudi-French mission will also complete its work for the second season at the site of Farda al-Faw in Wadi al-Dawaser.

They will also continue surveying the sites of ancient Arabic literature and stone arts in the al-Reen province, for the second consecutive season.

Saudi-French mission

In Al Sharqiyah province, the Saudi-French mission will excavate the archaeological site of Thaj for the fourth season in a row. The Saudi team will also start to excavate the archaeological site of Jawatta in Al-Ahsa province.

In Medina, the Saudi-French mission will start its ninth excavation season in Mada’in Saleh, located in the al-Ula province, northwest Saudi Arabia. It will continue to work on the Arabian Peninsula Green Project for its fifth season covering caves in the region to learn about early human activity in the peninsula.

In Najran, the Saudi-French mission will survey Arabic calligraphy in sites as well as surveying Wadi Matar and Wadi Shami in Jazan, where three excavation seasons have been conducted. The Univeristy of Jazan will also continue working on al-Manara Archeological site. In Assir, the Saudi team will carry its exploration work in the Jarash archeological site.

The British Saudi Mission, in cooperation with York University, continues its work to survey the prehistoric sites north of el-Barak Governorate.

The governorate of Douma for the 10th season of the work of the Saudi Italian Mission in cooperation with the University of Naples, which focuses its work in the archaeological area in the neighborhood of Darea.

In Tabuk, several excavations will be carried out the Saudi Poland completed its work in the archaeological site of Ainouna for the eighth season, and the Saudi-Austrian mission in the site of the village of archaeological in its sixth season.

In Mecca, the Saudi-Chinese mission will excavate al-Sereen, the pre-Islamic port of Mecca, for the season consecutive season. Japan’s Matoko Kattakura Foundation will complete the survey of traditional cultural sites in Wadi Fatima.