Saudi-French team discovers Stone Age sites in Tabuk

The joint Saudi-French team found ancient artifacts and a large number of rock-and-animal drawings which date back to the Stone Age. (SPA)
Updated 13 October 2017

Saudi-French team discovers Stone Age sites in Tabuk

TABUK: Saudi international missions operating in the Tabuk region under the supervision of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) have discovered a large number of tools, engravings and architectural units in three sites in the region.
These discoveries date back to different civilizations beginning from the Stone Age until the Islamic Era.
The specialized teams said that these sites need further study and excavation. Tabuk region was a conduit for ancient trade routes.
There are rock and animal drawings at Kilwa site, northeast of Tabuk. The Kilwa site is located inside the Al-Tabik Reserve. The joint Saudi-French team found ancient artifacts and a large number of rock-and-animal drawings which date back to the Stone Age.
The Kilwa historical site and the surrounding area are important archaeological sites, because these sites contain distinguished archaeological units.
Thus, many stages of civilization can be distinguished from prehistoric times to historical periods and pre-Islamic periods in addition to the Islamic period.
The stone drawings in the region of Kilwa are among the most ancient places in the Arabian Peninsula and could date back to 7,000 BC to 9,000 BC.
In the valleys and pastoral areas between the Tabuk and Jouf regions, a Saudi-Japanese team recorded 30 sites dating back to various periods and ages of the Paleolithic, Neolithic, Bronze, Iron Age and sites of Islamic times.
Under the supervision of the SCTH, there are more than 30 missions and scientific teams specialized in research and archaeological exploration. These teams include Saudi scientists and others from the world’s top universities and the most prestigious research centers from countries including France, Italy, the United States, Britain, Germany, Japan, Belgium, Poland, Finland, the Netherlands, Austria and others.
The Kingdom will hold the first forum specialized in archaeology. It is the first of its kind in Saudi Arabia, which will be held in Riyadh under the auspices of King Salman from Safar 18-20, 1439 AH.


Yayoi Kusama’s ‘Brilliance of the Souls’ comes to Saudi Arabia’s AlUla

Spheres of multicolored light hang at different heights and intervals from the ceiling, bringing to mind stars, planets and galaxies from afar. (Photo/Huda Bashatah)
Updated 37 min 48 sec ago

Yayoi Kusama’s ‘Brilliance of the Souls’ comes to Saudi Arabia’s AlUla

  • Visitors are instantly immersed in a different, ethereal world once the door closes behind them

ALULA: Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama has made her Saudi Arabian debut with one of her mirrored “infinity rooms” available to visit at AlUla’s Maraya Concert Hall.

The installation at AlUla, titled “Infinity Mirrored Room — Brilliance of the Souls,” is deceptively small at first. A totally reflective space with water surrounding a small platform on the ground for visitors to stand on, observers are instantly immersed in a different, ethereal world once the door closes behind them.
Spheres of multicolored light hang at different heights and intervals from the ceiling, bringing to mind stars, planets and galaxies from afar. The viewer is insulated from the outside world, and the space transforms from a confined room barely big enough for two people to an unending wonder.
The exhibit makes for a perfect place to take an ethereal, otherworldly selfie, as demonstrated by many of its visitors, such as Finnish resident Laura Alho, known online as “blueabaya.” Alho took to Twitter to post photos of her experience, saying she had “never seen anything like it.”
The concert hall itself is also covered in mirrors on the outside, designed with the intention of blending into the surrounding rocky landscape of AlUla without disrupting the natural beauty of the location.
Kusama, a 90-year-old artist from Matsumoto, is widely acknowledged as one of the most important contemporary Japanese creatives. Though she works primarily through sculpture and installation, she also paints, contributes to film and performance art, and dabbles in poetry, fiction, and fashion. She is famous for her conceptual art, which shows attributes of feminism, minimalism, surrealism, art brut, pop art, and abstract expressionism.

HIGHLIGHT

The ‘Infinity Mirrored Room’ is deceptively small at first. It is a totally reflective space with water surrounding a small platform on the ground for visitors to stand on.

At the age of 10, she began to experience vivid hallucinations which consisted of dense fields of dots, which inspired the Infinity Mirrored Rooms that she is most well-known for. As a way of therapy and self-expression, Kusama began creating these spaces with mirrored walls and multiple dots incorporated into the designs.
Kusama’s work is showcased at museums throughout the world, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, and the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo. There are 10 permanent Infinity Mirrored Rooms in museums worldwide, with several temporary showcases leased to various others. People have reportedly lined up for as long as five hours just to be allowed inside one for 30 seconds.
Interested parties can visit the Infinity Mirrored Room as part of the Winter at Tantora festival, taking place in AlUla until March 20. Access to the room is free to concertgoers with a ticket, details of which can be found at experiencealula.com