The “Culture and Identity of Sharjah Archaeological Heritage” exhibition, held at the National Museum of Archaeology in Lisbon, has successfully concluded its program. On December 31, 2020, the President of the Portuguese Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, visited the exhibition and was accompanied by Dr Antonio Carvallo, Director of the National Museum of Archaeology in Lisbon.
President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa expressed his admiration for the archaeological exhibits displayed, which represent models of the civilized periods in the emirate of Sharjah. He also praised the cooperation between the Republic of Portugal and Sharjah- particularly in the field of archaeological excavation and scientific research- under the guidance of His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah.
The exhibition, which included 150 artifacts, was inaugurated in November 2020 by His Highness Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, Member of the Sharjah Executive Council and Chairman of the Sharjah Media Council, representing His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah.
His Excellency Dr Sabah Aboud Jasim, Director General of the Sharjah Archaeology Authority, said, “This exhibition, which witnessed a remarkable turnout from visitors, researchers, and specialists, formed a new cultural window through which Sharjah was presented to the world. The exhibition presented Sharjah’s rich heritage, monuments, and history, and provided a great opportunity to educate on the historical archaeology of the emirate, which extends over 125 thousand years of human settlement.
His Excellency pointed out that the artefacts on display at the exhibition were examples of various archaeological discoveries in different sites within the emirate of Sharjah, representing different periods of civilization. The periods spanned from the Stone Age through to prehistoric times, the Bronze Age, the Iron Age, the Hellenistic period, and the pre-Islamic period, all the way through to the Islamic era.
The exhibition “Sharjah Archaeology” at the Lisbon National Museum of Archaeology won five prizes last December at the level of the Portuguese Republic. It was awarded first place by the Portuguese Association of Museums Science for the categories of “International project”, “International cooperation” (with the UAE embassy), “Museography work”, “Heritage transport”, and “Tourist information”.
The awards were given by Dr Graca Fonseca, Minister of Culture, in appreciation of the work and excavations carried out by Bahman and the results achieved as the authority continues its excavation, research, and restoration work in the emirate of Sharjah, under the directives of His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council, Ruler of Sharjah.
Virtual platform for the exhibition
The National Museum of Archaeology in Lisbon also hosted a virtual platform for the exhibition, in line with the International Day of Museums on 18th May. The platform carried a virtual tour of the exhibition, which was broadcast live in Portugal as well as the rest of Europe and the world. The halls of the exhibition included archaeological finds from Mleiha, Dibba Al-Hisn, Khor Fakkan, Al-Lula, Al-Dhaid Kalba, and other archaeological areas in the emirate.
The vision of the Sharjah Archaeology Authority is to establish Sharjah as a pioneer in the field of archaeology protection and preservation, and to follow best practises and standards for the protection of these sites and areas.