With this major exhibition for the fall of 2019, the Institut du Monde Arabe invites its visitors to discover the riches of AlUla, one of the world’s most important archaeological regions.
A magical place where landscapes coexist, the AlUla region offers a rare spectacle, from the deep green of the oasis to the ochre sand, from the red of the sandstone canyons to the dark tones of the volcanic rocks.
This enchanting setting that imprints itself in the memory of everyone who goes there is also home to the many and spectacular traces inscribed by the generations of men and women drawn for more than 7,000 years by the riches of one of the
most fertile valleys of the Arabian Peninsula.
In AlUla, many civilisations and societies have followed each other: Neolithic peoples, the kingdoms of Dadan and Lihyan, the Nabataean civilization, the Roman Empire, the Umayyad and Abbasid caliphates, the Ottomans… Their vestiges have been miraculously preserved, reaching us in an exceptional state of conservation.
It is this dual heritage, natural and human, that the exhibition «AlUla, Wonder of Arabia » reveals to its visitors with the help of rare archaeological objects and digital, sound, and sensory installations – all set to new and exclusive videos from Yann Arthus-Bertrand.
It offers an encounter with the exciting history of this unique place, as well as with its natural marvels. And at the same time, it is a tribute to the critically important archaeological work directed for the last twenty years by the two exhibition curators: French archaeologist and epigrapher Laïla Nehmé and Saudi archaeologist Abdulrahman Alsuhaibani. Their research has brought to light many vestiges, some of which are shown here for the first time.