News Column

New exhibition tracks artefacts from digs to museum

May 7, 2014

Staff Report

Sharjah: A new exhibition has opened in Sharjah illustrating the journey of ancient objects from the excavation site to the museum.

Sharjah Museums Department (SMD) launched the exhibition at Sharjah Archaeology Museum (SAM) on Wednesday.

The exhibition, titled "From Site to Museum: The Journey of an Archaeological Artefact", will run until September 7.

It will be presented in three main sections: The first will depict archaeologists' discovery of a find, and how the artefact is cleaned, processed, and carefully prepared for transport from the excavation site.

The second will follow its journey to the lab and introduce visitors to the technology used by experts to clean, restore, validate and date the artefact, as well as research its original purpose in the context of the time and culture from which it was first used.

The last section will showcase how the artefact is placed in its final resting place as part of the museum's permanent collection.

In Sharjah, advances in archaeological technology have helped researchers to discover artefacts proving that humans lived in the region as far back as 125,000 years ago.

SMD claims this serves as the oldest proof of human life within the UAE's borders.

Multiple sites have been discovered in the emirate over the last four decades. SAM currently houses around 90,000 rare artefacts, including currency, weaponry, jewellery, agricultural tools, and crockery.

SMD Director-General Manal Ataya said: "Much of what we know about our past through material culture is owed to the dedicated work of archaeologists. Archaeology is the only field of study that covers all time periods and all geographic regions inhabited by humans.

"This exhibition takes visitors behind the scenes of an archaeological site — from the excitement of finding an artefact, to the detailed process of restoration, up to the moment an artefact is interpreted and displayed on view to the public."

She added: "Sharjah is rich in archaeological sites and we at [SMD] certainly hope that this exhibition will inspire some of our emirate's students to pursue future study of history and archaeology."

The opening was attended by Mohammad Al Mousa, Adviser at the Emiri Diwan; Dr Sabah Jasem, Director of Antiquities; Nasir Al Darmaki, Curator of SAM; and Manal.

For more stories covering arts and entertainment, please see HispanicBusiness' Arts & Entertainment Channel

Source: Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)

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