Saudi Arabia has become a leader in the field ofarchaeological research in the past five years, a major exhibition in Rome wastold.
Abdullah Al-Zahrani, director-general of archaeologicalresearch and studies at the Saudi Commission for Tourism and NationalHeritage, said that 44 international archaeological missions had beencarried out this year in the Kingdom.
He was speaking on the sidelines of the "Roads of Arabia:Masterpieces of Antiquities in Saudi Arabia Across the Ages" exhibition, whichopened at the National Museum of Rome on Nov. 26
The groundbreaking exhibition was inaugurated by SaudiMinister of Culture Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan and Italian Minister ofCultural Heritage and Activities Dario Franceschini.
Al-Zahrani said that the Kingdom "has become one of the mostadvanced countries in terms of archaeological disclosures."
"Recent discoveries by local and international missions havehighlighted the Kingdom's historical status and cultural depth as the cradle ofthe beginnings of human civilizations," he said
Archaeological discoveries continue to "instil the civilizeddimension of the Kingdom," he said.
"The religious, political, economic and cultural staturethat Saudi Arabia enjoys is an extension of its long cultural heritage, inaddition to its distinctive geographical position as a bridge and hub ofcultural interaction between East and West that made it a meeting point forinternational land and sea trade routes throughout all ages," he added.