Wednesday, November 10, 2010

More re Ramesses III inscription in Saudi

LA Times

Saudi archaeologists recently discovered the first royal pharaonic inscription on a mountain face near the ancient oasis city of Tayma, evidence, experts say, of the major trade networks that criss-crossed the region thousands of years ago.

The discovery comes on the heels of a major push by Saudi authorities to foster wider appreciation for the Arabian peninsula's pre-Islamic history, which has often been glossed over or ignored in official narratives. In September, the Louvre in Paris wrapped up an exhibition of pre-Islamic Saudi artifacts, most of which had never been displayed before, according to an article in Le Monde at the time (a translation appeared in the Guardian).

The attention on the country's pre-Muslim past has proved controversial in the ultra-conservative kingdom. Some Saudis believe that displaying non-Muslim artifacts, whether Pagan, Jewish or Christian, should be forbidden, even if these artifacts pre-date Islam.

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