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British Museum, London, 04/08/2017

MBI Al Jaber Foundation Sponsors 51st Seminar for Arabian Studies

The 51st Seminar for Arabian Studies (SAS), organized by the British Foundation for the Study of Arabia (BFSA) and supported by both the MBI Al Jaber Foundation and the British Museum, took place on Friday 4th to Sunday 6th August. Approximately 52 papers were presented at the three-day event, the only annual international forum for the presentation of the most up-to-date academic research on the Arabian Peninsula.

This year’s special session covering Languages, Scripts and their Uses in Ancient North Arabia was chaired by Michael Macdonald and included presentations on Safaitic inscriptions, Thamudic graffiti, and the role of Aramaic on the Arabian Peninsula during the second half of the first millennium BC.

Other sessions covered a variety of subjects including the Iron Age in Arabia, Landscape in Arabia, as well as Ethnography and Travellers, and Arabian Prehistory. Papers in these sessions covered a broad time scale, were both interesting and diverse, and ranged from “Settlement Patterns in Pre-Islamic Aynuna” and “Neolithic Stone Beads from the Oman Peninsula” to “The Material and Spiritual World of Early-Islamic Hijaz as Reflected in the Hadith” and “Women in Soqotri and Omani Folklore”.

The event, held at the British Museum, attracted a large number of participants on each of the three days and presentations stimulated interesting and lively debate between speakers and the audience. A large number of posters were also displayed during the Seminar and poster authors were on hand to take questions from conference delegates.

Many of the papers presented will be published in the next Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies (PSAS) which is published annually and before the subsequent Seminar. More details on the Proceedings can be found here.

On the evening of the 5th August the MBI Lecture, which is the public part of the Seminar, was enjoyed by an audience of more than 250 people. The Lecture ‘Yemen’s Architectural Heritage in Peril’ was given by Professor Trevor Marchand. An account of Professor Marchand’s talk is given here.

For more information on the Seminar for Arabian Studies please go to the BFSA website at:

For further information, please contact:
Director of Public Relations
[email protected]



Charity Reg. No. 1093439

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