PITTSBURGH (KDKA) –- Stone figures 6,000-years-old, yet modern as a Picasso. A child’s golden death mask found with a tiny skeleton buried with pearls, rubies and turquoise. Ornate incense burners for precious Frankincense and Myrrh.
Those just a few of the amazing sights to be seen along the “Roads Of Arabia: Archaeology and History of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”
“This is fascinating to me, even as an Arab,” said Abderrahaim Foukara, of Al Jazeera.
Foukara is part of the international media previewing the exhibit of 200 archaeological relics from the kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Many of the awesome objects pre-date Islam. A horse – created by an artist 7,000 years ago – shows evidence of a harness.
“We come to an event like this,” says Foukara, “and we discover that, in fact, before Islam there were 8,000 years of interaction in that part of the world.”
Ancient trade routes from India to Mesopotamia brought a king’s ransom in goods traveling the roads of Arabia.
“Arabia is the gift of its location, geographical location between east and west,” says Dr. Ali al-Ghabban.
And there is the road to Mecca, illustrated by magnificent doors from the entrance of the Ka’ba – Islam’s sacred sanctuary.
Also, beautifully inscribed tombstones remembering pilgrims – like the one for “Yusuf, son of Abdallah” who died on a Wednesday in the year 595.
“These inscriptions provide a wealth of information,” said Dr. Ghabban. “One of the strongest elements in the Saudi Arabian civilization is writing.”
Arthur Clark, of ARAMCO, a co-sponsor of the exhibit finds that, “Saudi Arabia is in the news a lot these days because of its huge oil resources, but there’s a resource there that’s equally important – the culture resources.”
“Roads of Arabia” at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History opens Saturday, June 22, and runs through November.
For more information:
- Carnegie Museum of Natural History
- Roads Of Arabia: Archaeology and History of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia