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Activities in 2014

Epigraphic mission to Saudi Arabia

The Italian - Saudi Mission has been set up by the University of Pisa with the aim of promoting the study, preservation and dissemination of the pre-Islamic cultural heritage of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The mission has been funded by the Italian Ministry for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MAECI - DGPSP VI) and is coordinated by Alessia Prioletta.
The working program includes the inventory of the inscriptions preserved in museums, the identification of graffiti through fieldwork, their digitization and publication through the DASI system, training of local students and exchange of researchers.
The first campaign was carried out during the months of October and November 2014. Institutional and organization meetings between representatives of the University of Pisa, the Italian Embassy, the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities and the University of King Saud took place in Riad.
An epigraphic survey of rock inscriptions and graffiti was conducted in the area of Ḥima, near Najrān by Alessia Prioletta with the French mission to Saudi Arabia. The pre-Islamic inscriptions detected are being studied, digitized and will soon be publicated in the DASI website.
The wealth of inscriptions and graffiti identified in this campaign and in the previous ones of the French Mission, has led to the University of Pisa and the SCTA to plan the creation of a database dedicated to inscriptions and rock art scenes from Saudi Arabia.
Further epigraphic surveys will be organized in the region of Najrān and Qaryat al-Faw. Moreover the corpus of pre-Islamic Hasaitic inscriptions, namely coming from the region of al-Hasa, in the north-eastern region of Saudi Arabia, will be published in collaboration with the King Saud University.
Finally the female universities and institutions, and in particular the Princess Nora University and Saudi Heritage Preservation Society, will be involved in projects related to rock art and epigraphy.