Only since the 1960s has there been a department of antiquities and museums in Saudi Arabia. But in the last two decades—the lifetime of BAR—we have made enormous progress, placing the archaeology of Arabia in the wider context of ancient near eastern history.
In 1976 we began a comprehensive archaeological survey of the country. Fifteen years later we had recorded thousands of archaeological sites all over the Kingdom. Sponsored by the government, this was undoubtedly one of the largest, most ambitious and comprehensive archaeological surveys ever conducted in any country. To manage this enormous project, several teams of archaeologists and other technicians, both from Saudi Arabia and from American and European universities, divided the country into different geographical regions.