The Thaj Archaeological Project is an international project backed by major international academic and research institutions (Leiden University, Netherlands; CNRS, France; Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage, Saudi Arabia) aiming to excavate and promote one of Saudi Arabia’s most important archaeological sites: Thaj. Located in the Eastern province of Saudi Arabia, 80 km west of al-Jubayl, Thaj was the capital city of a prosperous Arabian kingdom (Gerrha) and the hub of long-distance trade in the Arabian Gulf during the last centuries BC. Deeply rooted in Arabian culture, it was linked through trade relations with distant areas such as Mesopotamia, the Levant, Greece and even India. As such, it symbolizes how ancient Arabian culture was able to be open to the world while remaining true to its traditions.
Starting in Nov. 2016, the project will will be carried out by an international team involving researchers from Saudi Arabia and from several European countries, creating a truly intercultural research environment. Saudi and European students will also be involved so that a new generation of Western and Muslim scholars learns to work hand in hand in the field.