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For the week of November 15 through 21, 2000

A look at an enigmatic country

Diane Peavey offers a slide show and lecture

What little we know of Saudi Arabia has come to us through disparate and sometimes unreliable channels: everything from the anecdotes of oil executives, to Hollywood movies, to news snippets of presidential trips of state. Of late, however, the Saudi Arabian government has begun to allow more westerners into its country.

Writer and radio commentator Diane Peavey, of Carey, recently completed a trip to this enigmatic country with her husband, former state Sen. John Peavey, and several archaeologists from Brown University. In a lecture and slide show at the Community Library tomorrow night entitled A Contemporary Look at Ancient Civilizations, Peavey will present her photographs and personal reflections on the trip.

The Peaveys and the archaeologists followed the ancient "incense route." At one time incense was so valued for sacred ceremonies that it was considered more precious than gold. The material was produced in Oman, Yemen, and Somalia, and then transported across Arabia to Mediterranean countries. The trade route led to the growth of the several trading centers including Medina, Madain Salah, and Petra in Jordan.

Along this route, Peavey explored the sites of Dir’aiyah, the former capital of the Saud family (for which the country was named), Rawafa, Al Bada, and Quarayyah. The final stop at Petra included an examination of the recently excavated "great Temple."

The presentation begins at 7 p.m. on Thursday and is free of charge.


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