This name has recently been given to a suburb south of Dubai. In the early 1990s a tomb of typical Umm al-Nar-type was found here and subsequently excavated, along
with parts of an adjacent settlement, by an Australian team in conjunction
with Dubai Municiaplity. The most striking feature of the tomb at
al- Sufouh was the fact that, just outside of it, were four pits containing
human bone, most of it burnt. It is possible that this bone, which
may or may not have come from the main tomb itself (i.e. been re-buried),
represents the remains of extensive cremation episodes.
Some pits held the remains of c. 50 individuals, all seemingly cremated at the same time. The high temperatures reached in these cremation episodes (revealed by the calcined nature of the bone and warping of some of the bones and artifacts) suggests that the bodies were cremated while they still contained flesh. In other words, they were not cremated after a period of exposure had removed the flesh. Cremation has also been noted at other sites of this period in the Emirates but it is not certain whether this was standard practice in the UAE during the Umm al-Nar period, or whether it was occasioned by particular circumstances (e.g. a plague) which warranted purification at high temperatures.