Sultan bin Ahmed opens Sharjah Archaeology Exhibition in Lisbon

  • Friday 15, November 2019 05:26 PM
Sharjah 24: Representing His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohamed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, Chairman of Sharjah Media Council, inaugurated on Thursday evening, in the presence of Minister of Culture of Portugal, Dr. Graça Fonseca and Mousa Abdul Wahid Al Khaja, UAE Ambassador to Portugal, Sharjah Archeology Exhibition under the title "Culture and Identity of Sharjah Archaeological Heritage", which runs until April 2020.
Organised by the Sharjah Archeology Authority in cooperation with the Institute of Archeology at the University of Nova Lisbon, the exhibition is hosted by the Museu Nacional de Arqueologia (National Museum of Archeology) in the Portuguese capital Lisbon, and houses 150 artifacts.

The exhibition is a translation and activation of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) concluded between the organising parties earlier, and aims to strengthen the bonds of cooperation in the field of archaeological excavations and exchange of expertise and joint scientific research.

Following the official opening ceremony, Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, accompanied by senior Portuguese officials and members of the delegation of the Emirate of Sharjah, toured the lobby of the exhibition, which included selected models of archaeological discoveries in Sharjah sites, which represent different civilisational eras, from the Stone Ages through the prehistoric era and the Bronze Age, the Iron Age, the Hellenistic period, and the pre-Islamic period to the Islamic Era.

The exhibition provides the Portuguese public, tourists, interested in archaeologists an opportunity to learn about the cultural and archaeological heritage of the Emirate of Sharjah between the present and the past, and the Sharjah and Portugal Sections, which included information about the archaeological discoveries in Sharjah, which were excavated by the Portuguese mission from the University of Nova.

In the second hall of the exhibition, the organisers reviewed the most important archaeological discoveries dating back to the period between the third century BC and the third century AD, known as the pre-Islamic period, and the Islamic period that extends from the Abbasid era to the present.

The Islamic period represented artifacts discovered in Dibba Al Hisn, Khorfakkan, Al Lu'lu’iya, Al Dhaid and Kalba.

The pre-Islamic period displayed in the same hall represented archaeological finds from Mleiha, dating back to an important historical period in the history of the Arabian Peninsula, which included amphora jars from Rhodes Island and a large pottery jar imported from southern Spain, in addition to an important collection of discoveries of Dibba Al Hisn.

Afterwards, Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi and the attendees stopped at the third exhibition hall, titled "Time of Sunrise", where they reviewed archaeological exhibits from the Iron, Bronze and Stone Ages, including Ashuli stone axe dating back to the Old Stone Age which was discovered in Sahila archaeological Site in the City of Al Dhaid.

This exhibition is a new human and cultural window opened by the Emirate of Sharjah through which it aims to expose its heritage and history through academic knowledge partnerships and thus fulfilling its aspirations of establishing dialogue with the other and acquaint the other with us.

On this occasion, Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, said that His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah, patron of the exhibition, attaches a considerable importance to archaeology and archaeological discoveries sector. He added that His Highness’ deep interest in this area stems from his belief that culture is an integral act that none of its components should be neglected. He continued that the 1980s recorded the presence of Sharjah's first exploratory mission whose archaeological excavations helped to record the historical period of the first human existence in the region.

The Chairman of the Sharjah Media Council explained that what is being exhibited today at the Sharjah Archeology Exhibition reflects the important archaeological richness of Sharjah, which constitutes a unique synthesis of artifacts from different eras spanning more than 800 thousand years, and proves the history of human settlement in the region, as well as highlights the civilisations that have originated in the region.

Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi invited all members of the Portuguese community to visit the exhibition in order to directly be face to face with the historical human experiences from an area that is located in the heart of the Arabian Peninsula, and to learn about and closely discover its secrets and history.

He expressed his sincere thanks and appreciation to the management of the National Museum of Archeology in Lisbon for hosting the exhibition, and the management of the Portuguese Nova University for the warm hospitality and organisation, praising the efforts of the Sharjah Archeology Authority to establish partnerships and exchange experiences with various research and exploration institutions around the world.

For her part, Dr. Graça Fonseca stressed the keenness of her country and its various institutions to adopt such creative initiatives, which contribute to the achievement of intellectual and humane rapprochement between peoples.

She pointed out that Sharjah and His Highness the Ruler have a special place in their hearts, and the reputation achieved by this emirate, wisely led by its Ruler, has led it to assume global cultural position. She added that Sharjah has been able to build a unique relationship with different countries of the world away from political diplomacy, expressing happiness for her presence at the exhibition, which she described as rich in knowledge. Fonseca continued that the treasures on display are a source of pride for the expeditions, and thanked the organisers for giving her and others the opportunity to see them.

Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi wrote his thanks in the Golden Book of major and high-ranking visitors to the National Museum of Archeology in Lisbon.

The opening ceremony was attended by a number of Arab ambassadors to Portugal, senior Portuguese officials, representatives of the Portuguese Ministry of Culture and Military Institutions, and a large gathering of intellectuals, archaeologists and visitors.

The Sharjah Emirate’s delegation accompanying Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi included Dr. Sabah Abboud Jassim, Director General of Sharjah Archeology Authority, Tariq Saeed Allay, Chairman of Sharjah Government Media Bureau (SGMB), and Hassan Yacoub Al Mansouri, Secretary General of the Sharjah Media Council.