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  • Museum Components
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    -    Main lobby-    Eight exhibition halls as permanent galleries-    A hall for holding temporary exhibitions and an ad hoc hall of future expansion-    Administrative officesTechnical facilities consisting of:-    Warehouses -    Research facilities -    LaboratoriesThe eight galleries are divided by topics as follows: Development of Arabian Peninsula through natural, humanitarian, cultural, political, and religious as museographic scenario, leading to the evolution of Saudi Arabia in three stages. Number of displays in the Museum are currently 3700 pieces of artifacts and heritage distributed across eight hallsTotal display cabinets (221) as closets.Total number of figurative means (900).Total number facilities of films and sound effects (45).Total number of models (45) as hologram or sculptures.​
  • Hall of Man and Universe
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    It is the 1st exhibition hall of the National Museum located on the ground floor, which leads to other galleries.  It has an area of 1,500 square meters. The display in this hall has been arranged as follows:Changes that occurred to the Earth, and their impact on human life.The nature of planets and their composition.Movement of the continents and continental drift.The genesis of minerals, rocks and rock cycle, the difference between mineral rocks and common rock.The hall has a model of the Twaiq mountain range displaying locations of types of metallic and non-metallic sites as well as stones of high-economic value known as mineral resources in Saudi Arabia.There are models as samples of some types of crude oil sources and types.This Hall has exhibits of different geological times and reviews periods of different environments, animal species, and some fossilized trees.​There are specimens of extinct animals of various sizes that inhabited the ancient Arabic island.  Here, there is a model of Mastodon with thick hair that was cruising the Arabian Peninsula about 12 to 17 million years ago.Different natural environments in Arabia.​Primitive technologies of prehistoric man, with various types, putting visitors face-to-face with prehistoric man and his natural surroundings, as well as the primitive methods used, such as tools and fire. The gallery also houses a collection of ceramics dating back to one of the oldest prehistoric civilizations, during the time of slavery dating back to 7000 BC, which was spread in the east of southern Arabia, Mesopotamia, and the rest of the ancient Near East.At the far end of the gallery is a rock with handprints of significance supported with symbolic connotations found in Najran province in southern Saudi Arabia​
  • Arabian Kingdoms
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    This is the 2nd  gallery in the museum in terms of sequence, and it  is 1,500 square meters in area. The gallery showcases the time period extending from the 4th millennium B.C., to the end of the 4th millennium A.D. The time period includes the dawn of time, to the rise of Arabian Kingdoms, through commercial activity throughout different historical eras before Islam. The very first visual a visitor gets in the gallery is a large model of “Taima Wall”, built within the gallery using original rock fragments translocated from the wall itself. Over the wall is a large screen showing some antiquities and locations of each of the Ancient Kingdoms of Arabia.     With the dawn of the 3rd millennium B.C. rose the first civilization in the eastern and northern Arabia as well as in the northeastern Arabia. With the rise of kingdoms in Arabia, the importance of communicating with distant desert areas also increased. On the other side of the wall are a collection of stone panels found at the Khebbah site in Tabuk province. These stone panels are some of the oldest known historical antiquities in Arabia, dating back to 4th millennium B.C. Some of these panels rise to a height of 4 meters. The ancient symbols and inscriptions found on the stone panels indicate to the succession of civilizations that dominated the region. Given the consensus between the dawn of history and the emergence of writing in the ancient world, the gallery showcases the branches of the writing tree since its inception in 3200 BC to the emergence of early Arabic writing in 1000 BC. Two means are used to showcase this. The first is a computer program explaining the origins of writing, and the other is the sculptures of some ancient stone panels carrying writings and numerous illustrative symbols. Both can be found on the opposite of Taima Wall. There are also models of a few types of writings such as, Talmudic, Lihyanite, Safaitic, Dedanite, Aramaic, Nabataean, and Early Islamic. Immediately after this display are models of collective semicircular graves, as well as a display of some of the tools and utensils found inside these graves. At the dawn of 1000 B.C. Arabs began appearing on the world stage of events. This is revealed on an Assyrian graphic panel. The panel illustrates a battle between Arabs and Assyrians as the first ever mention of Arabs. It was the Battle that took place in 853 B.C. Commercial ties became stronger in the 1st millennium B.C between the regions of the Near East, Eastern Africa, and Southern Asia. Given Arabia’s significant location as the crossroads of important trade routes, it was witness to the rise of a number of Arabian Kingdoms. The peoples of Edom, Lihyan, and Kindah founded nations extending alongside the main inland trade routes of Arabia. In the south, the kingdoms of Sheba, Qataban, Hadramout, Minaeans, Himyar and Awsan started to trade in spices and incense. The kings and queens of those kingdoms built cities and extensive systems to irrigate their fields and farms and directed the trade of incense and gum coming from southern kingdoms to the places in need of these commodities in Iraq, Syria and Egypt. On further investigation in the gallery, a visitor can see the presence of one of the very first cities of these early Arabian kingdoms, which rose in the northwestern part of Arabia in the 2nd millennium B.C. namely, the Medyan Civilization. There are other artifacts from cities of intermediate Arabian kingdoms, which prospered during the 8th and 9th century B.C. Its people depended on agriculture and opportunities put forth by the trade routes. Such cities were: Tayma, Daumat Al-Jandal, Dedan (modern Al-Ula,) and Najran at the southern portal. There are also tools and items on display from the caravan city of Al Fao (the first capital of Kindah). Such items include, glass and gold utensils, wooden reels, combs, carpets and ceramic utensils. Also on display is a realistic model of a traditional Al Fao house. There is a model of one of the stone facades of Mada’in Saleh, the World Heritage listed site in Saudi Arabia and some artifacts representing the Nabataean civilization. Nearby are other artifacts and items on display including a bronze sculpture of a lion’s head and claws dating back to the 1st century B.C. This item was found in Najran probably as one of the most significant discoveries made in Arabia for that period that dates back to the ancient Thaj civilization (4th century B.C.) known for its multiple cultures and unique for minting some of the oldest coins used in Arabia. Also found at the site was the gold treasure of Thaj, dubbed as the Treasure of Thaj as well as many other movable and immovable artifacts
  • Jahiliyah (Pre-Islamic) Gallery
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    This is the 3rd gallery hall in sequence. It is 500 square meters in area, and represents the time period extending from 400 A.D. to the Prophet’s migration (622 AD). This gallery displays a collection depicting the state of the Arabian tribes in the Pre-Islamic times, as well as the rituals and beliefs practiced, the daily activities, customs, traditions, trade, as well as the evolution of Arabic calligraphy. Also housed in the gallery are panels written in both Arabic and English that emphasize the significance of few key cities in the pre-Islamic times, which played an efficient role at both the cultural and economic level. Some of the most prominent towns, besides Makkah, were:Jarash: Located in Asir province, it gained economic significance given its location along the caravan routes and its popularity for growing fruits, grains, and vegetables. It was also known for its manufacture of weapons, leather and metal goods.Khaibar: It is located in the Hijazi strip surrounded by volcanic rock. It is unique for its handicrafts as well as its fertile lands and agricultural resources, especially dates. Items on display in the gallery indicate that the key manufactured products were armors, shields, swords and spears.Najran: Located at the crossroads of the southern trade route, which turned it into a commercial center and a meeting point for travelers coming in from the north and the south.Yethreb:  Renamed as Madina after the emergency of Islam, it was popular for prosperity and dense population that was made of three components, Aws, Khazraj and other Arabian tribes.Hejr Al Yamamah: It was founded in Hanifa Valley prior to the dawn of Islam and was originally governed by Kindah Kingdom then Benu Hanifa. Its significance was its strategic location between trade routes. Researchers feel it is likely that the larger part of the antiquities are still lying under modern Riyadh..Domat Al Jandal: Located in the northwestern part of Arabia, it gained its popularity prior to the rise of Islam, given it was a major commercial center for trade caravans headed toward the Levant. Key archeological sites in Domat Al Jandal are Marid Castle, City Wall, Dir’ea Quarter and Rajajeel Site.Following these displays is a collection showcasing the emergence of Arabic writing. The oldest two alphabet systems known to history, on which other alphabets are based, are the Ugaritic alphabet, and the Phoenician alphabet. Aramaic writing, which was derived from Phoenician writing, was the basis for Nabataean writing and subsequently modern Arabic writing. The gallery also showcases models depicting Arabic poetry markets in Jahiliyah times (pre-Islamic times), which the city people helped create through the development of trade, and other activities. These markets were not specific to commercial activity only, but acted as a forum for people of the city, tradesmen and visitors where they discussed their current political and economic state, and recited poetry. Some of the most common markets known to Arabs in Jahilyah were Souk Okaz in Taif, Thu Al Mujaza near Makah, Domat Al Jandal, Najran, Hubashah and Meshqar in Hijr​
  • Prophetic Mission
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    This is the 4th gallery in sequence. It covers an area of 350 square meters, and it is located on the first floor of the museum. It depicts the period from the dawn of Islam to early phases of the spread of Islam. It showcases the life of the Prophet (Peace be upon him), the revelation, battles, Holy Quran and manuscripts of the Quran. The gallery is accessed with an escalator, and it houses artifacts described in both Arabic and English labels. Some of these artifacts depict the lineage of the Prophet (Peace be upon him), his upbringing, travels to the Levant, his wives, life after prophecy, and his migration to Medina.Directly after this gallery is a long narrow hall that widens at the other end. On the right side is a large ceramic mural showcasing the Prophet’s journey from Makah to Medina using illustrations, audio and written phrases.​
  • Islam and the Arabia
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    This is the 5th of the museum’s galleries, and it covers an area of 1,200 square meters.First section of this gallery is specific to the dawn of Islam, which starts with the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) arrival in Madina, and ending with the beginning of the Umayyad Period. There is a small room screening films on a number of the Prophet’s battles (peace be upon him), some of them are the Battles of Badr and Al Khandaq. The second part of the gallery houses a collection from the Umayyad Period, which ends with the start of the Abbasid Period. The third part of the gallery contains three consecutive halls: the first houses a collection of items that Muslims excelled in, such as ceramics and tools of medicine and astronomy. The second part, shows films on Arab sciences, their spread and superiority over the skills of other civilizations during that time period. The third, however, showcases different styles of Islamic calligraphy engraved on tombstones of different sizes, and found in important sites of the Islamic Age. The fourth section of the gallery has two halls, and the first contains information on a number of key Islamic sites in Saudi Arabia, such as Al Rabthah and Mabiyat. And the second hall shows a film portraying Al Rabthah during the Islamic Age. The fifth section of the gallery is rich in artifacts dating from the Abbasid period to the emergence of smaller nations up to the Mamluk Age. Some of the most prominent items are coins, pottery, glass, woodwork and metal implements and utensils. The sixth and last section in this gallery is devoted to items of the time specific to the Ottoman Period. It also houses a model of the largest Ottoman castle located along the Egyptian Hajj route.
  • The First and Second Saudi States
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    This is the 6th hall of the museum’s galleries in terms of chronological sequence, and it is divided into two sections. The First SectionIt depicts the First Saudi State as was founded by Imam Mohammed Bin Saud, who reigned from 1139-1179 AH (1726-1765 AD). The exhibition also presents the historic meeting between him and Sheik Mohammed bin Abdul Wahhab in Diriya in 1157 AH (1744), where both pledged to return to the original sources of Islam and fight against cults and superstition, paganism and polytheism, which had spread at that time (an alliance to establish a religious and political sovereignty determined to purge the Arabian Peninsula of heretical practices and deviations from orthodox Islam as they understood it.) They also undertook to apply the practices of Islam and the Prophet Mohammed (peace and blessings be upon him). Then Diriya evolved as the first Saudi state capital. It flourished as did the social life. And the State continued to expand since its founding until subsequent successor imams after Imam Mohammed Bin Saud. They are: Imam Abdul Aziz bin Mohammed (1179-1222 AH/1765-1803), Imam Saud bin Abdul Aziz Al - Saud I (1218-1229 AH/1814-1818), to the end of the First Saudi State after the siege of Diriya in 1233 AH/1818 AD).The Second SectionThis section depicts the Second Saudi State, which was founded by Imam Turki Bin Abdullah (1240 AH/1824 AD), who chose Riyadh as the capital during his reign. He then unified Najd and Al Ahsa. Imam Turki re-imposed central authority and "Sharia". He was in power until his assassination in 1249 AH/1834 AD. Then came the reign of Imam Faisal Bin Turki, who succeeded his father in 1249 AH/1834 AD., and tried to strengthen State authority over lands ruled territories, but was stalled by the invasion of Mohammed Ali Pasha of Najd in 1253 AH/1837 AD. Afterwards was the return of Imam Faisal and the reinstatement of power in 1259 AH/1843 AD., and the establishment of security and stability until his death in 1309 AH/1891 AD. Lastly, the gallery depicts the end of the Second Saudi State with the departure of Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal from Riyadh in 1309 AH/1891 AD.
  • Unification of Saudi Arabia
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    This gallery is located directly after the First and Second Saudi State theme. It covers an area of 1200 square meters, and depicts the emergence of the Third Saudi State at the hands of late King Abdulaziz in 1319 AH/1902 AD. It also displays a collection of artifacts dating back to the Third Saudi State. The gallery includes a hall for screening documentary films about King Abdulaziz, his achievements, and efforts made in the unification of Saudi Arabia since the re-capture of Riyadh. The provinces featured are Aseer, Hail, Hijaz, Al Ahsa and others that were the foundation of Saudi Arabia in 1351 AH/1932 AD. The gallery also depicts King Abdul-Aziz’s unification of Saudi towns and cities, the formation of various state establishments and key international conventions signed by King Abdulaziz at that time. Finally, there is a display regarding urban development of Riyadh, features of built heritage in the provinces of huge diversity, as well as an overview of the beginning of the discovery of oil in Saudi Arabia.
  • Hajj and the Two Holy Mosques Hall
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    This is the 8th and the last exhibition halls, and it covers an area of 800 square meters. It is located on the ground floor of the Museum. It depicts Hajj, its rituals, related antiquities, and the role of subsequent "Islamic States" in its maintenance and the historic pilgrimage routes, the two holy cities of Mecca and Madina, and the role of the Saudi State in the service of the pilgrims of Hajj and Umra rituals. It is divided into different pavilions.First pavilion: It is a large horizontal model depicting Makkah, Massa and other holy sites in Makkah. On the wall behind the model is an enlarged aerial photo showing the location of Makkah in Saudi Arabia. Also hanging on the wall is a part of the Kaaba shroud, embroidered with silk and silver. Nearby is the display of the Kaaba door from the reign of Sultan Murad IV in 1045 AH, made of pure gold and copper Second Pavilion: It is located along a circular corridor and features models of old Hajj routes, the sculptures and gravestones, as well as antiquities left behind by the Hajj pilgrims. Also on display are maps showing the major stops along the ancient Hajj routes, such as the Egyptian Haj route, Levant Haj route, and the Yemeni Haj routes.    Third Pavilion: It talks about the different time and dates of the Holy Kaaba and the Haram mosque in Makkah and the second expansion in the reign of late King Fahd.Fourth Pavilion: In the center of the pavilion is located a model of Madina after the expansion that occurred during the reign of the late King Fahd. It also displays items depicting writing tools used in teaching reading and writing. Fifth Pavilion: It showcases Hajj through the ages, and all the literature documented by travelers, writers, and poets throughout the Islamic Ages. It then goes on to explain the history of Hajj during the First Saudi State, and ends with the efforts put forth by King Abdulaziz and his sons toward the services of the Two Holy Mosques and the provision of various amenities and comforts to the pilgrims.
​​Source : ​​​Saudi Tourism​​​
Last Modified Date: 9/6/2015 3:16 PM