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.


Saudi Arabia says missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi is dead

Updated 35 min 15 sec ago
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Saudi Arabia says missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi is dead

  • The journalist died after a fistfight at the consulate in Istanbul
  • Deputy intelligence chief, royal court adviser removed from positions, 18 Saudis arrested

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia announced on Saturday the death of missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi, saying a preliminary investigation indicated he lost his life after a fight at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

“The discussions between Jamal Khashoggi and those he met at the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul... devolved into a fistfight, leading to his death,” the Saudi Press Agency said, citing the public prosecutor.

Eighteen Saudis have been arrested in connection with the incident and the investigation is ongoing, the public prosecutor said.

“The Kingdom expresses its deep regret at the painful developments that have taken place and stresses the commitment of the authorities in the Kingdom to bring the facts to the public opinion, to hold all those involved accountable and bring them to justice,” a statement on the SPA said.

Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist who lived in the US, disappeared on Oct. 2 after visiting the consulate to complete paperwork related to his divorce.

Deputy intelligence chief Ahmed Al-Asiri was removed from his position and Saud Al-Qahtani from his advisory role at the Royal Court, through royal decrees.

Three other intelligence officials who were also sacked have been named as Mohammad bin Saleh Al-Rumaih, Abdullah bin Khalifa Al-Shaya and Rashad bin Hamed Al-Muhamadi.

King Salman also ordered the creation of a ministerial committee, headed by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, to restructure the country’s General Intelligence agency and issue the results of its work within a month.

Members of the committee include the interior and foreign ministers as well as the heads of the General Intelligence and State Security.

A team of Saudi investigators were sent to Istanbul and have been working on the case with Turkish detectives, who entered the consulate on Thursday.

Earlier in the week, Saudi Arabia promised a thorough and transparent investigation into what happened to the journalist in Turkey.