At the forefront of the Vision 2030, the AlUla project is the cornerstone of the Kingdom’s cultural and touristic ambitions, an archaeological, cultural and tourist complex – an open-air living museum – in a region roughly the size of Belgium. And the project recently received significant international exposure when the Discovery Channel took a behind-the-scenes look at one of the most important discoveries of modern history in a new documentary, revealing that human civilization’s first building blocks were set in place in AlUla.
Narrated by Academy Award, Tony Award, Golden Globe and Emmy Award winner Jeremy Irons, ‘The Architects of Ancient Arabia’ journeyed into Saudi Arabia’s deeper past, following teams of leading international and Saudi archaeologists and a local historian as they revealed new wonders in the previously unexplored land.
Some of the most important survey and excavation work in modern history has been taking place in the region, revealing the distant past of AlUla. Specialist teams, for instance, are seeking to make sense of the activities connected with ancient stone structures they are excavating surrounding the AlUla oasis, with their findings aiming to expand and intensify the historical legacy of the Kingdom and ancient Arabia. In the documentary, the archaeologists uncover evidence for an ancient ritual, wholly unexpected and extraordinary, as they continue to piece together AlUla’s rich history in time to welcome guests from around the world.
“The startlingly spectacular landscape is like nothing I’ve ever seen”Robert Kirwan,
Henry Windridge, Senior Director: Marketing, Digital & Creative, EMEA Pay TV & Global Brands at Discovery, commented: “An untouched desert Kingdom, Saudi Arabia has retained some of the most stunningly well-preserved evidence of ancient civilizations. As the global leader in real life entertainment, Discovery is delighted to be able to continue its longstanding commitment to the region by uncovering the history of this ancient masterpiece and sharing it with viewers around the world.”
A region roughly the size of Belgium
Robert Kirwan, the Executive Producer/Editor of the documentary, said: “The weeks we spent in AlUla filming alongside the archaeological team were a life-altering experience for me and the rest of the crew. The startlingly spectacular landscape is like nothing I’ve ever seen. And the stone structures, literally thousands of them dotting the area, have sat untouched for thousands of years. We were walking among the ghosts of unknown ancients, and we could feel their presence, their yearning, to have their story told.”
The documentary was made by Discovery in association with The Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU) and produced by Powderhouse Productions.