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The Past

20,000 - 2,000 years ago

This Iron Age village is located in the sandy belt of Sharjah between the gravel plains of the interior of the UAE and the low-lying coast. It is just a few kilometres south of Sharjah International Airport and represents a mudbrick village of the sort found at al-Madam, Rumeilah, al-Thuqaibah and Qarn Bint Saud. Muweilah was brought to the attention of authorities at the Sharjah Archaeological Museum by a local inhabitant who picked up pottery at the site and has been excavated by an Australian team since 1995.

Muweilah is important because of the fact that fire destroyed what appears to be an extensive building complex, preserving a large quantity of artifacts in their original settting. Hundreds of grinding stones, some bearing microscopic traces of barley and wheat starch; extensive casting spillage from the manufacture of copper objects; and masses of pottery, give us a good picture of what life was like in an Iron Age village in the ancient Emirates. In addition, Muweilah has yielded the UAE's earliest example of writing, a piece of pottery with three letters - bml - which probably represents a Semitic name like Bimhal, Bamael or Abima'el.

Based on a number of C14 dates, the settlement at Muweilah was probably founded c. 850-800 BC and destroyed by fire around 600 BC .

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