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The Past

20,000 - 2,000 years ago

Shimal is the name of a Shihuh village nestled in the lee of the Hajar mountains just north of Ras al-Khaimah city and south of Rams. It is also the site of several hundred pre-Islamic tombs and a settlement of mid-second to early first millennium BC date which was excavated in the mid-1980s by a team from the University of Göttingen in Germany. Shimal is an important archaeological site for it was here that, for the first time, significant quantitites of pottery, soft-stone vessels, bronze or copper weaponry, and beads typical of the period c. 2000-1300 BC (the so-called 'Wadi Suq' period), were found in the Northern Emirates.

The tombs at Shimal are all built of locally available stone. They are generally visible because their upper courses of stone usually protrude above the surface, even if several courses lie buried beneath alluvial gravel washed down from the mountains. Occasionally an ancient tomb may have been buried completely by such debris. This is true of a tomb of Umm al-Nar-type which was discovered accidentally during road works. The site has given its name to a type of long, narrow tomb with an entrance in one side.

A small hill-top fort of the Islamic era, known as Husn al-Shimal, stands perched on a rock outcrop and affords a good view of the entire area.

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