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Heritage Commission to start surveying submerged antiquities in Red Sea
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 18 - 08 - 2022

JEDDAH — The Saudi Heritage Commission announced that it would start implementing a plan to survey submerged antiquities in the area between Umluj and Ras Sheikh Humaid in the Red Sea. This is part of the commission's strategy in the field of survey and archaeological excavation, the commission said while highlighting the importance of antiquities sunken and submerged in the water.
During a press conference hosted by King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), the commission officials explained that under the project, which is scheduled to end on September 5, the area between Ras Sheikh Humaid to the wreck of the sunken ship in Umluj will be surveyed. More than 25 designated sites along the survey path in Ras Sheikh Humaid, Duba, Al-Wajh and Umluj areas will also be monitored.
The project, which will be implemented, in cooperation with King Abdulaziz University and the participation of an Italian team from the University of Naples, includes a marine sonar survey of the sites containing submerged archaeologies to create nautical maps and high-resolution images of all areas. The data will be collected and analyzed using sonar and sound waves.
Speaking on the occasion, Heritage Commission CEO Jasir Al-Herbish said that the commission has made significant achievements and uncovered underwater cultural heritage. It established a new marine center to preserve underwater cultural heritage in the Red Sea and the Arabian Gulf. The commission will encourage scientific cooperation with local and international universities to uncover underwater heritage sites and build capacities in the field.
The commission confirmed that the entire site will be photographed using high-quality 3D photogrammetry and video technology, making an accurate map of the wrecks and determining the locations of fixed reference points using the GPS system.
It will also try to retrieve artifacts that may be subject to damage, and detecting parts of the wreck with archaeological work devices and tools. The commission noted that the Red Sea and the Arabian Gulf harbor many secrets about the Kingdom's cultural heritage.

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