JEDDAH: The General Secretariat of the Abdul Rahman Al-Ansari Award announced winners of the first session of the award which honors pioneers and young archaeologists in the field of archaeological research and field work in Saudi Arabia.
The prize aims to improve archaeological research and create a positive spirit of competition between male and female researchers at the local and international levels.
The award was named after Abdul Rahman Al-Ansari, the leading archaeologist in the Kingdom and the dean of Saudi archaeologists. He was the first Saudi to study archaeology at the University of Leeds.
After returning from his studies in 1966, Al-Ansari joined King Saud University and worked on the establishment of a department for teaching archaeology in the department of history at the faculty of arts, which later evolved into an independent department and then a college.
The winners were as follows:
First: Pioneers of Saudi archaeologists:
• Al-Turath Charity: For its pioneering role in the restoration of national antiquities from outside the Kingdom and its contributions in the field of archaeological site development.
• The late Abd Al-Qudus Al-Ansari: One of the most prominent archaeologists, and for his archaeology-related writings and investigations.
• The late Mohammed bin Bleihd: For writing two books on antiquities.
• The late Hamad Al-Jasser: For his scientific production in the geography, history and heritage of the Kingdom.
• Abdullah bin Hassan Masri: For his efforts in establishing the antiquities department at the Ministry of Education and working on the development of archaeological activity in the Kingdom.
Second: Pioneers among Non-Saudi archaeologists:
• Abdullah Philby: For his leadership in serving the history, geography and antiquities of the Kingdom.
Third: Young researchers of Saudi archaeologists:
• Dr. Abdullah bin Ali Al-Zahrani: From the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) for his PhD thesis which he received from the British University of York.
• Khalid bin Fayez Al-Asmari: From the College of Tourism and Archaeology, King Saud University, on his master’s thesis at King Saud University.
Fourth: Young researchers among non-Saudi archaeologists:
• Romolo Loreto (Italy): For his efforts in the excavation project in Dumat Al-Jundal.
• Jerome Rohmer (France): For his efforts in the project of archaeological excavations in Mada’in Saleh, and for leading the scientific team at the Thaj archaeological site in the Eastern Province.