Archaeological discoveries in various parts of Saudi Arabia announced

The Vice-President of Antiquities and of the Museum Sector in the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage announces at a press conference that new antiquities were discovered recently in Saudi Arabia. (AFP)
Updated 12 November 2017
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Archaeological discoveries in various parts of Saudi Arabia announced

RIYADH: Archaeologists have announced a number of discoveries and phenomena in various parts of the Kingdom on the sidelines of the first Saudi Antiquities Forum which ended on Thursday.
One of these is a 1,000-year-old gold dinar struck in 453 AH, and uncovered by an archaeologist at King Saud University, local media reported.
The gold dinar, an Islamic medieval gold coin, was found only 20 centimeters below the surface at the archaeological site.
A new astronomical phenomenon linked to the Rajajil site was also found, in addition to six other Fatimid coins, glass bottles with writings dating back to the reign of the Caliph Al-Mustansir, part of a red agate pottery, and decorative beads.
Rajajil, often called the Stonehenge of Saudi Arabia, is a mysterious ancient site located on a sandstone terrace some 20 kilometers south of the center of Sakakah, the capital of Al-Jouf province, and a few kilometers south of Qarah village.
Archaeological excavations had revealed that Rajajil is indeed a burial site, but its true importance is “probably its role in the transition of lifestyles from nomadism toward sedentarism induced by climate changes on the Arabian Peninsula.
Archaeological investigation in the Al-Hajjar area also revealed the existence of 17 tombs with the names of 14 sculptors who worked in Madain Saleh, the first world heritage site of Saudi Arabia. The archaeological tombs in the area bore artistic inscriptions.


Lights, camera, action: Gala heralds rebirth of Saudi cinema

Updated 19 April 2018
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Lights, camera, action: Gala heralds rebirth of Saudi cinema

  • Saudi Arabia plans to open nearly 350 cinemas, with more than 2,500 screens, by 2030
  • Movie theaters are expected to contribute more than $24 billion to the Saudi economy and create more than 30,000 jobs by 2030

RIYADH: It was a night to remember: Cinema returned to Saudi Arabia on Wednesday with the first major movie screening in 35 years in a spectacular new theater in King Abdullah Financial District in Riyadh.
The gala screening of the Hollywood blockbuster Black Panther was attended by hundreds of invited guests in the sleek and chic complex — described by AMC cinema chain bosses as “the most beautiful movie theater in the world.”
As the guests took their seats, Princess Reema bint Bandar told Arab News: “It’s a privilege to be here. I hope everyone gets to enjoy the experience I’m having this evening.”
In an official opening ceremony before the movie began, AMC bosses joined Saudi government officials on the stage. Each placed their hand each on a large handprint, triggering a shower of glittering, colorful confetti on the audience. It was a magical moment — just like the movies, in fact.
Paul Hill, the general manager of AMC, told Arab News: “It’s an absolute honor and privilege to be part of the opening It’s a historic achievement. This really will be the place to go.”
The opening was overseen by the Development and Investment Entertainment Company, a subsidiary of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund and a partner with AMC in the new cinema complex.
Dr. Awwad Alawwad, the Saudi Minister of Culture and Information, and Adam Aron, chief executive and president of AMC Entertainment, joined diplomats and industry experts to watch Black Panther in the first in a series of invitation-only screenings during April.
“I know for sure that Saudis are very eager to be able to watch their favorite films here in their own country, as now made possible by Vision 2030,” Dr. Alawwad said before the screening.
“This is a landmark moment in the transformation of Saudi Arabia into a more vibrant economy and society. None of this would be possible without the visionary leadership of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.”
The cinema will open to the public on Friday. “There are some surprises and secrets on how we are promoting it. The tickets will be sold online and there will be more information in 24 hours,” said AMC Vice President Jason Cole.
Three more screens will be added to the cinema complex by September. Saudi Arabia plans to open nearly 350 cinemas, with more than 2,500 screens, by 2030.