The opening was attended by HE Mohammed Diab Al Mousa, Advisor at the Amiri Diwan, Manal Ataya, Director General of Sharjah Museums Department, Dr. Sabah Jasem, Director of Antiquities,as and Nasir Al Darmaki, Curator of Sharjah Archaeology Museum.
The exhibition, which will run 7 May through 7 September, is intended to connect visitors to Sharjah’s history by educating them about the archaeological processes that take place from the moment an ancient artefact is unearthed at a dig site to the time it is displayed at the Sharjah Archaeology Museum.
This unique exhibition 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 dig site. The second section will follow the artefact on its journey to a 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 exhibition concludes by presenting the artefact in its final resting place as part of the museum’s permanent collection and a legacy to the Emirate’s future residents.
In Sharjah, advancements in archaeological technology have helped researchers to discover artefacts proving that human beings lived in the region as far back as 125,000 years ago—which is the oldest proof of human life within the UAE’s borders. Multiple sites have been discovered in the Emirate over the past 40 years and as a result Sharjah Archaeology Museum currently houses around 90,000 rare artefacts including currency, weaponry, jewellery, agricultural tools, and household crockery. “From Site to Museum… The Journey of an archaeological artefact” has been curated with the intention of connecting the Emirate’s current residents to all those who lived and thrived in Sharjah before them.
Commenting on the exhibition, Manal Ataya, Director General of Sharjah Museums Department remarked, “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 times 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 artifact, to the detailed process of restoration, up to the moment an artifact is interpreted and displayed on view to the public.”
Ataya went on to add, “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.”