'Journey to discover Kingdom’s cultural treasures continues'

Minister of culture tweets after posting video of Princess of Thaj’s Mask

June 28, 2020

Saudi Gazette report

Saudi Arabia's Minister of Culture Prince Badr Bin Abdullah Bin Farhan posted a video about an artifact, namely “Princess of Thaj’s Mask” from the ancient heritage village of Thaj in the Eastern Province, stressing that “the journey to discover the Kingdom’s cultural treasures continues.”

The video showed the archeological mask of a girl who lived in the first century AD. In 1998, a team of Saudi and international archeologists discovered the mask, made of gold, in a funeral room, with other heritage pieces. The mask dates back to the Hellenistic era when the Arabian Peninsula was connected to the Mediterranean world through major trade routes.

The Thaj village, located 80 km west of Jubail, is one of the most important historical sites in the Kingdom. The houses of the people of the small village lie on important historical treasures, and people in the area used to unearth heritage pottery pieces from time to time. There are over six protected sites in Thaj.

The construction of a woman’s house in one of the hills of Thaj led to the discovery of an important archaological treasure. At one of the tombs near the woman’s house, archeologists discovered remains of a child, aged less than ten years, and believed to belong to a royal family that dates back to the civilization of Thaj.

The remains were found lying on a bed with scattered bronze rolls formed in human shape and gold pieces around the remains of the girl.

Many preliminary studies showed that the site dates back to 500 BC and extended to the succeeding centuries reaching the Islamic period. The integrate village boasts of a great civilization of the time with housing a famous historical site where at present the people who know well its historic value are keen on preserving the site and protecting it from tampering.

The gold and bronze pieces that were unearthed from the tomb of the girl child are found invaluable, as they were scattered around the remains of the girl. In the tomb, there were many bronze and pottery pieces, as well as pieces of gold ornaments inlaid with precious stones and a face mask of gold, which reflects the cultural and industrial significance of the ancient Kingdom of Thaj.

June 28, 2020
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