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HRH The Prince of Wales introduces Green Arabia Conference 2014

HRH Prince Sultan Bin Salman at Oxford’s Green Arabia conference

HRH Prince Sultan Bin Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud

HRH Prince Sultan Bin Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, Chairman of the Board and President of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities, delivered an introductory talk at the Green Arabia conference, held at the University of Oxford, on April 2, 2014.  HRH Prince Sultan provided the audience with a masterful overview about the heritage of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and its importance to the history of Islam.  He also discussed Saudi Arabia’s heritage in relation to the outside world and the importance of tourism development.

 

 

 

Palaeodeserts invited to Kensington Palace

Kensington Palace Orangery where Gala Dinner Event was held

Kensington Palace Orangery where Gala Dinner Event was held

Prof. Michael Petraglia and Dr. Ash Parton were invited to a Gala Dinner at Kensington Palace on May 19th, 2014.  The dinner was hosted by the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAIGA) and Saudi Aramco.  The event was under the patronage of HRH Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud, Saudi Ambassador to the United Kingdom.  The Saudi Embassy was instrumental in supporting the “Green Arabia” conference recently held in Oxford, on April 2-4.

Visit to Saudi Geological Survey in Jeddah

Dr. Abdullah Al-Attas (left), Prof. Michael Petraglia (centre), Dr. Zohair A. Nawab (right)

Dr. Abdullah Al-Attas (left), Prof. Michael Petraglia (centre), Dr. Zohair A. Nawab (right)

Michael Petraglia recently visited the Saudi Geological Survey (SGS) in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.  The SGS is a key government organisation which conducts significant research on the geological, paleontological and environmental history of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, thus overlapping with the interests and themes of the Palaeodeserts Project. Dr. Nawab is the President of the SGS and Dr. Al-Attas is Assistant President for Technical Affairs.

Green Arabia on Live Broadcast

The entire 2 hours of the Green Arabia conference, held on the evening of April 2nd, was broadcast live.  It can be seen in its entirety by clicking here.

Green Arabia conference concludes

The Green Arabia conference, University of Oxford

The Green Arabia conference, University of Oxford

The Green Arabia conference was held at St John’s College, University of Oxford, from the 2nd to 4th of April, 2014.  On the evening of 2 April, Prof. Nicholas Rawlins (Pro-Vice Chancellor of Oxford) opened the conference and welcomed the delegates and guests in front of a standing-room only audience.  HRH The Prince of Wales welcomed the guests, highlighting the importance of UK-Saudi relations and noting the importance of the Green Arabia concept.  This was followed by three keynote talks by HRH Prince Sultan Bin Salman Bin Abdulaziz (Chairman of the Board and President of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities), Prof. Michael Petraglia (University of Oxford), and Dr. Rick Potts (Smithsonian Institution).  The following two days consisted of a total of 28 paper presentations and the display of 20 posters. The conference also included two exhibits on archaeological and fossil finds in Saudi Arabia and a third on Prof. Norman Whalen and his impact on Palaeolithic studies in the Kingdom. The proceedings of the conference will be published in a special issue of the international journal, Quaternary International.

Rick Potts delivers keynote talk

Copyright © Matthew Tomkinson, 2 April, 2014

Copyright © Matthew Tomkinson, 2 April, 2014

Dr. Rick Potts, Director of the Human Origins Program, Smithsonian Institution, delivered a keynote address at the Green Arabia conference.  The talk was entitled, “Climate Dynamics and Human Origins”.

Rick is a pioneer in examining the relations between climate variability and human evolution. His talk discussed the complex relations between climate change and human origins, using archaeological and fossil evidence especially from Africa. Particularly interesting and pertinent to discussions about Arabia was his emphasis on lake drilling to reconstruct past environments and monsoon dynamics.

Keynote: “The Peopling of Arabia”

Prof. Petraglia delivers keynote address

Prof. Petraglia delivers keynote address

Prof. Michael Petraglia delivered a keynote talk, “The Peopling of Arabia”, as part of the opening ceremony of the Green Arabia conference.  Petraglia emphasised the importance of Oxford’s close collaboration and partnership with the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities in discovering a variety of archaeological sites across the Kingdom.  New discoveries were reported in the Empty Quarter, the Nefud Desert and Central Saudi Arabia, near the modern cities of Hail, Tayma, Dawadmi, Nejran and Jeddah.  Emphasis was placed on the importance of Arabia as a cross-roads throughout time and the ability of its record in shedding light on environmental change and its influence on past communities.

Green Arabia conference – registration

JubbahOnline registration is now open for the Green Arabia conference taking place April 2- 4 2014, at St John’s College, Oxford. Click here for registration

Tayma field season wildly successful

Tayma fossils cropA survey and excavation programme was conducted in the Nefud Desert, just east of Tayma, Saudi Arabia. Previous work in the region indicated that paleontological sites were present along palaeolakes. The team re-visited these areas and were excited to re-locate the fossil sites. Significant paleontological and archaeological sites from the Lower and Middle Palaeolithic periods were also investigated.

The results of these investigations will be presented at the ‘Green Arabia’ conference, in Oxford (April 2-4, 2014).