Archaeological discovery inspires 2020 World Expo logo

Published 20 April 2016

Date: 20 April 2016

The 3,000 year old ring, almost identical to the inspiration of the Dubai 2020 World Expo logo

The 3,000 year old ring, almost identical to the inspiration of the Dubai 2020 World Expo logo

At the site where the University of New England-led research team is conducting an archaeological excavation, a 3,000 year-old gold ring has been found, which has inspired the design of the Dubai 2020 World Expo logo.

Professor Lloyd Weeks from the School of Humanities said the ring was discovered in the United Arab Emirates Rub’ al-Khali desert.

“This ring dates back to the Iron Age, around 3,000 years ago and is made up of small granules of gold joined together using advanced jewellery techniques. It will certainly remain a significant find for the project,” said Prof Weeks.

Vice-President and Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid made the announcement on 27 March, with the Minister of State for International Cooperation describing the ring as a symbol of “connecting minds, creating the future” – the theme of the 2020 Expo.

Professor Weeks said the ancient site of Saruq al-Hadid, where the discovery was made, was once the centre of an international network of traders and entrepreneurs, as well as a possible place for ritual and pilgrimage.

“Saruq al-Hadid has a vast abundance of ancient artefacts left there over 3,000 years ago and spread over one to two square kilometres. These include thousands of metal artefacts made of copper alloys, iron and gold, as well as pottery and stone pieces.”

The Dubai World Expo 2020 is expected to attract 25 million visitors and inject $US 23 billion to the Dubai economy.

Watch The Dubai World Expo’s video telling the story of the ring and the logo, featuring Professor Weeks:

For more information on the Saruq al-Hadid Archaeological Research Project and availability for interview, contact Professor Weeks on +61 2 6773 3982 or