World Archaeology Summit – Al Ula, Saudi Arabia – 13-15 September 2023

I have been invited to participate in the World Archaeology Summit due to be held at Maraya, Ashar Valley, Al Ula, in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia from 13-15 September 2023.

For more information about the World Archaeology Summit, visit

The Summit

The World Archaeology Summit will be a platform for advancing the field of archaeology, cultural heritage management and other disciplines. This new gathering of leaders from academia, government, non-government organizations, industry, and young people representing the next generation of archaeologists will not only enrich the archaeological community and help protect our shared history but also open up to a larger reflection of what and how archaeology, and more broadly cultural heritage, can contribute to transformational changes in society. Together, we will explore the value of understanding the past, of using that knowledge to inform the present, as we build a resilient future.

It is a global platform promoting archaeology and cultural heritage to wider audiences, and thereby broadening the impact of archaeology and archaeological discoveries on global relationships and society. As such, the Summit will inspire people to co-create visionary, heritage-based solutions to contemporary problems across sectors.

The international and national guests from different backgrounds will include leading practitioners and innovators in the field of archaeology, and the industries that could engage in its potential step change.

The World Archaeology Summit is a recurring event, with year-round engagement and a focus on partnerships, outcomes, and initiatives. It goes beyond traditional intellectual pursuits, focusing on innovative solutions that will have a long-lasting impact on the world.

The Setting

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is home to a rich cultural heritage, with a legacy created by various peoples that thrived within its diverse and dramatic landscapes.

Located in northwest Arabia, the region of AlUla has been a natural crossroads for millennia, attracting people due to its plentiful water resources, making it a precious palimpsest, home to a wealth of material culture, from lower Palaeolithic artefact scatters to late prehistoric stone structures to oasis cities such as Dadan, Hegra, Qurh, and Old Town.

Nabataean Hegra, a sister city of Petra and Saudi Arabia’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site, may be AlUla’s most well-known place, but life in the valley flourished long before and after the height of the Nabataean Kingdom.

Dadan, located on the ancient Incense Route, which extended from Southern Arabia to Egypt, the Levant, Mesopotamia and beyond, became a hub of commercial and cultural exchange while ruled by the kings of Dadan and Lihyan in the 1st millennium BCE; Qurh became Arabia’s second largest city after Mecca, rising to prominence as a primary stop for pilgrims on the Hajj after Islam’s rapid expansion in the 7th and 8th centuries CE; later ‘Old Town’ emerged as a significant centre in the 12th century, acting as AlUla’s main hub and sustaining life in the region for centuries thereafter.

Join Us to Explore

How archaeology can be a vector for solving the challenges of communities across the world and affect transformational changes

A broad conversation and an open dialogue across disciplines
The impact of archaeology on humans and society
The cross-fertilization value for archaeology of insights from other disciplines

Focusing on not just what is practiced, but what can happen next – exploring new frontiers, and setting the frame for future changes in the sector – the Summit is curated to engage attendees in the inspiring surroundings of AlUla with excursions to archaeological sites in addition to the dialogues inside Maraya, one of the most stunning venues in the world.

The programme for the Summit is co-crafted by a diverse Advisory Board of authoritative voices that combines know-how from different sectors, fields of expertise, and cultures, making the Summit a truly global amalgam of knowledge.

Finally, the Summit will provide a platform for young people to engage in meaningful dialogue and debate about the future of archaeology. It will offer a space for them to develop their own perspectives and ideas and contribute to the conversation in fundamental ways.

Join us along with the many attendees from different sectors and geographic backgrounds all coming together to contribute meaningful interdisciplinary dialogue at the first World Archaeology Summit this September, 2023.

4 Key Themes, 60+ Speakers & Panelists – Parallel Youth Forum – Panels, Keynotes, Informal Dialogues and Excursions




Exploring the intricate relationship we have with our heritage and connection to the past, and how archaeology shapes our personal and shared identities in an increasingly globalized world.


Exploring archaeological paradoxes, practices, and dilemmas.


Exploring wisdom of the past which has much to teach us, and highlighting challenges that need to be overcome.


Exploring the past as a universal right by traversing topics of diversity, disability, and financial access to heritage.

Attendees of the 2023 World Archaeology Summit will include:
  • Academics
  • Anthropologists
  • Archaeologists
  • Architects
  • Commercial Sector Leaders
  • Engineers
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Government Officials
  • Heritage Specialists
  • Historians
  • IGO Leaders
  • International Organization Representatives
  • Legal Experts
  • NGO Heads
  • Philologists
  • Philosophers
  • Scientists
  • Small Business Owners
  • Storytellers
  • Students
  • Technology Innovators