This Day in History

This Day in History (1985): New Museum Opens at Dammam Library

A new museum presenting a wealth of artefacts from ancient to recent times opens in Dammam Library.

This Day in History (1985): New Museum Opens at Dammam Library

From May 8, 1985, edition of The Arabian Sun

A new museum of antiquities and ethnography, presenting a wealth of artifacts that cover the region from its ancient to recent past, was opened in Dammam April 14 in a ceremony led by HRH Amir Muhammad ibn Fahd ibn ‘Abd al-‘Aziz, Governor of the Eastern Province.

Located on the fourth floor of the new Dammam Library building near the city’s sports stadium, the Dammam Museum of Antiquities and Ethnography boasts six main halls and a 25-seat theater, along with workshops and offices. In an interview with the Arabian Sun shortly after opening, Museum Director ‘Ali Mughannam described the facility as “a good first step” in the Department of Antiquities and Museums’ drive to “make the past come alive” for specialists and nonspecialists alike.

Mughannam also thanked the persons who volunteered time to help establish the facility and asked for continued support for the project.

The museum is one of seven provincial museums designed by the Department of Antiquities and Museums to bring to the public examples of the local heritage dating as far back as 10,000 years. It will be housed in the library building until a new special-purpose structure is erected to satisfy not only archaeologists, but also those with an interest in the region’s natural history.

The museum is in three parts. Sections are devoted to: the ancient past to the time of the Prophet Muhammad; the early, middle and late Islamic periods; and the ethnography of the area.

Archaeological finds are at the heart of the first parts of the presentation. They range from the late Stone Age implements to relatively recent coins.

Oldest in the stone-tool section are hand axes from Jabrin Oasis on the edge of the Rub’ al-Khali. The collection also includes later, more finely made flake knives and it is completed by an array of spearpoints and arrowheads, the latest dating from about 3000 B.C.

Shards of ‘Ubaid pottery in the next hall point to early trade links that may have developed between Mesopotamia and this region. The distinct pottery, found mainly at costal sites in the province, is named after the city in southern Iraq in the region where the ceramics were fabricated. The pottery fragments date from 5500 and 2800 B.C.

Mughannam thanked everyone who had a hand in establishing the museum and paid special attention to the late Marny Golding for her help at the facility. He also asked for continued support for the project from “the people who have the ability to be helpers… with their collections, their ideas or translating capabilities.”

Also on this date

2019 — British 17-year-old Isabelle Holdaway is reported to be the first patient ever to receive a genetically modified phage therapy to treat a drug-resistant infection

1984 — The USSR announces a boycott upon the Summer Olympics at Los Angeles, later joined by 14 other countries

1980 — The World Health Organization confirms the eradication of smallpox

1978 — The first ascent of Mount Everest without supplemental oxygen is made by Reinhold Messner and Peter Habeler

1933 — The Beatles release their 12th and final studio album Let It Be

1945 — Mohandas Gandhi begins a 21-day fast of self-purification and launched a one-year campaign to help the Harijan movement

1912 — Paramount Pictures is founded

1902 — In Martinique, Mount Pelée erupts, destroying the town of Saint-Pierre and killing over 30,000 people. Only a handful of residents survive the blast

1895 — China cedes Taiwan to Japan under Treaty of Shimonoseki

1886 — Pharmacist John Pemberton first sells a carbonated beverage named "Coca-Cola" as a patent medicine

1758 — The Maratha Empire captures Peshawar from the Durrani Empire in the Battle of Peshawar. The Maratha Empire was extended to its farthest distance away from Pune that it ever reached, over 2,000 km, almost to the borders of Afghanistan

1429 — Joan of Arc lifts the Siege of Orléans, turning the tide of the Hundred Years' War


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