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HISTORY & TRADITIONS - ARCHAEOLOGY

BP helps studies of UAE heritage

Posted on 12/10/2004

Studies of the geology and archaeology of the United Arab Emirates are being helped by international oil company BP, it is announced yesterday. The help is in the form of assistance for the Abu Dhabi Islands Archaeological Survey, ADIAS, in its research into two distinct aspects of Abu Dhabi's heritage - research into the geology of the island of Balghelam, north-east of Abu Dhabi, and a study programme on Neolithic (Late Stone Age) flint tools from the western island of Dalma. ...  >>MORE

Excavation at Shamal tomb to resume in November

Posted on 08/08/2004

Excavation at the Shamal tomb, the largest grave of the Umm Al Nar period to have been discovered so far, will resume after a seven-year hiatus in November. A senior official from the Ras Al Khaimah museums and antiques department said the tomb was discovered in 1997. The middle of the third millennium BC saw the rise of the Umm Al Nar period (2600-2000 BC), the most important period in the development of civilisation in the UAE. Evidence suggests that flourishing trade in copper with ...  >>MORE

UAE experts fight to save Islam's earliest mosques

Posted on 03/08/2004

The Gulf state of the United Arab Emirates has a battle on its hands to protect some of Islam's earliest mosques from greedy property developers and over zealous restorers. Scholars say they have come across derelict mosques of ingenious simplicity in the UAE, which are a world away from the elaborate structures found in most Islamic cities today. The buildings reveal a distinctly Arabian style which survived to the early 20th century, before the UAE became the developed urban society it is ...  >>MORE

Historic tower may soon become history

Posted on 03/08/2004

A historic tower dating back more than 100 years could be lost unless it is restored soon, concerned residents said. Despite being only six metres high, a vast amount of local folklore surrounds the Nakheel Tower, located on municipality land near the Preventive Medicine Centre in Ras Al Khaimah. Since its partial collapse, only two walls remain standing. When a historic tower or fort is lost, it can never be made up as a sizeable portion of the emirate's history will have been lost as ...  >>MORE

UAE archaeology will be focus of London seminar

Posted on 19/07/2004

Archaeological studies in the United Arab Emirates will be a centre of attention at the annual Seminar for Arabian Studies, being held in the British Museum in London later this week. The Seminar is attended by leading archaeologists and historians from around the world who work in the peninsula, as well as by other scholars from the six member states of the Gulf Co-operation Council. It takes place from 22-24 July. A total of six papers will be delivered on recent discoveries in the United ...  >>MORE

Al Hail castle in Fujairah to be renovated

Posted on 11/07/2004

The Department of Archaeology and Heritage will soon renovate Al Hail castle and palace, one of the oldest and most impressive historic monuments in the emirate, dating back to the Iron Age (1300-300 BC). Nestled in Wadi Al Hail, 13km west of Fujairah, the old castle and its watchtower are well-known because one of the palaces was once occupied by the Al Sharqiyin ruling family. Although it has been preserved from the outside, the department decided to restore the monument as a whole to ...  >>MORE

Plans to rename historical landmark

Posted on 05/07/2004

Steps are afoot to expand and rename one of the most significant archaeological sites in the UAE, Hili Archaeological Park (HAP), a top official at the Al Ain Town Planning Department (AATPD) told "Khaleej Times.” The Hili Archaeological Park is one of the main historical landmarks of not only the Eastern Region of Abu Dhabi Emirate, but also the UAE and the entire Gulf region and includes a number of archaeological sites and human settlements that portray the cultural development of the area. ...  >>MORE

Marawah excavations find Abu Dhabi's oldest inhabitant

Posted on 30/06/2004

The spring excavation season by the Abu Dhabi Islands Archaeological Survey, ADIAS, on the western island of Marawah has found the remains of the earliest-known inhabitant of Abu Dhabi, it is announced today. Marawah is part of the Marawah Marine Protected Area, MPA, which is managed by Abu Dhabi's Environmental Research and Wildlife Development Agency, ERWDA. The excavations were carried out at the site of a 7000 year old village which has the best-preserved and most-sophisticated stone ...  >>MORE

A look into the past

Posted on 30/06/2004

A look into the past - Excavations carried out at the site of a 7,000-year-old village in Abu Dhabi resulted in the discovery of the oldest human remains in the emirate. - Archaeologists also stumbled upon fragments of a decorated pot which provides evidence that the Neolithic inhabitants of Marawah were trading by sea with southern Mesopotamia. - A sample of the pot has been sent to France's Centre Nationale pour les Recherches Scientifiques for further study. - Also found ...  >>MORE

6-8 million year old fossils to go on display

Posted on 23/05/2004

Remains of some of the oldest elephants ever found in Arabia are to go on display in Abu Dhabi later this year. The remains include a 2.54 metre long tusk, parts of a skull and jaws and some ribs found as fossils in the Western Region of Abu Dhabi. The discoveries were made in the early 1990s by a joint team from the Natural History Museum in London and Yale University, and, more recently, by scientists from the Abu Dhabi Islands Archaeological Survey, ADIAS. The fossils date to the Late ...  >>MORE

Archaeological digs `boost knowledge'

Posted on 10/04/2004

The archaeological discoveries that took place in the UAE have substantially increased our knowledge about the Neolithic period in this part of the world, said a group of archaeologists, scholars and students. The group was participating in the 2nd Annual Symposium on Recent Archaeological Work in the UAE, organised by Zayed Centre for Heritage and History (ZCHH), an affiliated body of the Emirates Heritage Club, from April 7 to 8 at Le Mercure Hotel, Jebel Hafeet. The annual forum featured ...  >>MORE

Archaeology conference in Al Ain opens

Posted on 08/04/2004

A major conference on recent archaeological discoveries in the Emirates opened last night in Al Ain. Organised by the Zayed Centre for Heritage and History, part of the Emirates Heritage Club, the conference is the second in an annual series designed to permit archaeologists, historians and others to share information about the latest discoveries about the country's heritage. The conference was inaugurated by Dr. Hassan Naboodah, Director of the Zayed Centre for Heritage and History. Today's ...  >>MORE

French team zeroes in on Hili necropolis

Posted on 16/03/2004

The French Archaeological Mission in the UAE, in collaboration with the Department of Antiquities and Tourism in Al Ain (DAT), has undertaken a geophysical study of the Hili necropolis as a part of its sixth season of excavation in the period from December 30, 2003 to February 25, 2004. "The research of such types of buried structure, invisible in the present landscape, had never been undertaken so far in the UAE," Dr W.Y. Al Tikriti, of DAT, said, according to the "Khaleej Times.” "The ...  >>MORE

Archaeologists dig deep to trace history of explorer Bin Majid

Posted on 15/03/2004

Archaeologists from the Department of Antiquities and Museums have started excavating in Al Ghob to find out more about the famous explorer Ahmed bin Majid and the history of the emirate. Christian Velde, Resident Archaeologist, said the excavation site, which is locally known as Al Najdi, is said to be the birthplace of the explorer who lived in the 15th century. Bin Majid is famous for collecting information about seafaring in the Indian Ocean and documenting it. His famous book, "The ...  >>MORE

Ancient records speak volumes about Julfar's rich history

Posted on 01/03/2004

Julfar, a historic coastal city in Ras Al Khaimah, has one of the oldest records about its origins as a port in the Arabian Gulf which flourished during the Islamic period, a British scholar said. Recent surveys and excavations have enabled historians to learn more about its ancient Arab geographers of Julfar, said Dr Geoffrey King, a researcher from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London. He said: "The works of the Arab geographers and historians is now far ...  >>MORE

Abu Dhabi to hold exhibition of fossil finds

Posted on 22/02/2004

The Abu Dhabi Islands Archaeological Survey (ADIAS) will shortly hold an exhibition of fossils found in the emirate. According to last month's ADIAS' newsletter, work is progressing on plans for the exhibition of a selected group of late Miocene fossils. "We hope to complete the exhibit by late April or early May, 2004. The fossils will go on display in the lobby of the current headquarters of the Environmental Research and Wildlife Development Agency (ERWDA) where ADIAS has its main ...  >>MORE

Discoverer of Abu Dhabi's fossils dies

Posted on 17/02/2004

Peter Whybrow, one of the founders of studies of the fossils of the United Arab Emirates, died suddenly on February 13, his family have announced. He was 61. Whybrow first came to southeastern Arabia in 1979, to carry out fossil research in Qatar, on behalf of what was then the British Museum (Natural History), and later became The Natural History Museum. During that visit, he made a one-day trip across the border into the Emirates, visiting Jebel Barakah, an outcrop on the coast west of Jebel ...  >>MORE

Painted pottery found by Japanese excavators

Posted on 14/02/2004

Further evidence of the historical significance of Khor Fakkan on the international trade roadmap in the later Islamic period, was discovered by a Japanese archaeological team which concluded its excavations in Khor Fakkan, on the UAE eastern coast, recently. The team from Kanazao University was headed by Dr Tatsu Sasaki and conducted the excavations in co-operation with the Local Archaeological Expedition headed by Dr Sabah Jassim of the Antiquities Directorate of the Sharjah Department of ...  >>MORE

3,000 year-old buildings discovered

Posted on 09/02/2004

An Australian-American archaeological team hosted by the Antiquities Directorate of the Sharjah Department of Culture and Information from December 2003 till last month conducted detailed inspections of the Iron Age site found earlier in Muweileh in Sharjah. The site, located 15km west of Sharjah city, has already revealed substantial evidence for a 3,000 year-old settlement which is one of the largest sites dating back to that aged discovered so far in the United Arab Emirates. Previous ...  >>MORE

Facelift for Sheba Palace in Shamal is planned

Posted on 07/02/2004

Plans are underway to restore the Sheba Palace in Shamal, the only historic palace in the UAE and a major tourist attraction. However, officials from the Department of Archaeology and Tourism said the restoration will be partial. "Some walls, at least the boundary of the palace, will be restored according to the first phase of the plan," a source said. Full restoration of the palace will be difficult since the site plan is not so clear, according to archaeologists and historians. They said ...  >>MORE

Extensive archaeological excavation programme continues in Al Ain

Posted on 24/01/2004

The Archaeological and Tourism Department in Al Ain is continuing its extensive archaeological and renovation of historical buildings in the city. Saif bin Ali Al Dha'ba Al Dermaki, Under Secretary of Archaeology and Tourism Department said that the programme for this season includes various activities, notably excavation for the first time in Al Naqfa Fort, located at the end of Wadi Al Sarouj, behind Al Ain Oasis. The excavation, said Al Dermaki, comes in line with the directives of ...  >>MORE

NDC, ADIAS join forces to carry out survey of fossil sites

Posted on 18/01/2004

The National Drilling Company (NDC), a component of the ADNOC Group of Companies, and the Abu Dhabi Islands Archaeological Survey (ADIAS) have joined hands to carry out surveys for archaeological and fossil sites in onshore areas of Abu Dhabi. Under the agreement, ADIAS will carry out a review of proposed sites for onshore wells, being drilled by NDC, to check archaeological and fossil sites. It will advise NDC about any areas of sensitivity. NDC's General Manager, Abdul Munim Al Kindi said ...  >>MORE

French team starts excavation work in UAQ

Posted on 06/01/2004

A French team, headed by Philippe Marx, an archaeologist at the Paris University, will begin this month excavation work at an archaeological settlement on the Al Akab Island of Umm al Qaiwain. The excavation work, which is in continuity of the excavation work on the settlement, forms part of the second excavation season. It is also within the framework of cooperation between the French team and the Umm Al Qaiwain Department of Museum and Heritage. The excavation work is in line with the ...  >>MORE

7000 year-old houses discovered on Marawah island

Posted on 05/01/2004

A group of stone houses nearly 7,000 years old have been found on Abu Dhabi's Western island of Marawah, it is announced yesterday. They are the oldest buildings of their type ever discovered in the United Arab Emirates. The discovery was made by a team from the Abu Dhabi Islands Archaeological Survey, ADIAS, working in association with the Environmental Research and Wildlife Development Agency, ERWDA, who are responsible for management of the island's wildlife and environment as part of the ...  >>MORE

New book on Jebel Dhanna sulphur mines launched

Posted on 16/12/2003

A major new book on the archaeology of the United Arab Emirates is issued today to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the first shipment of oil from the Jebel Dhanna terminal of the Abu Dhabi Company for Onshore Oil Operations, ADCO. Appropriately, the book deals with a group of archaeological sites at Jebel Dhanna itself – a complex of over 150 mine shafts and tunnels that were in use two or three hundred years ago to mine raw sulphur. Entitled Sulphur, Camels and Gunpowder - The ...  >>MORE

Ancient Elephant Footprints discovered in Abu Dhabi's Western Region

Posted on 10/12/2003

Hundreds of footprints made by ancient elephants and other animals have been discovered in the Western Region of Abu Dhabi by a team from the Abu Dhabi Islands Archaeological Survey (ADIAS), it is announced yesterday. These fossil footprints are the first of their kind ever discovered in the Arabian peninsula. Three sites with the footprints, believed to be 6 to 8 million years old, have been discovered in the Baynunah region, east of Ghayathi. The main footprint site, at Mleisa, is in the ...  >>MORE

Dam dating back to 1000 BC discovered

Posted on 08/12/2003

A French archaeological team discovered the remains of an old dam in the East Coast dating back to 1000 BC. The discovery was made during the excavation at the site of an old human settlement and a temple near what is at present known as Al Bithna village. The dam indicates that agriculture was already being practised by the residents during those days. The three-member team, which works for the French National Research Centre, arrived to continue their excavation work at the two main sites ...  >>MORE

Reports on archaeological finds in UAE released

Posted on 04/08/2003

Reports on the achievements of the UAE archaeological studies and discoveries were released in an international seminar held at the British Museum in London last month. The annual seminar on Arabian Studies was held from July 17 to 19, with a number of delegates from the Arab world, including the UAE, taking part. Almost the entire proceedings of the inaugural session focused on the achievements of the UAE in the field of archaeology. The papers on the UAE included New Archaeological ...  >>MORE

Who lived here before we came?

Posted on 03/08/2003

At first glance it appears to be a sea of rocks with a coppery tint and dusting of fine sand that looks like snow from a distance. Hundreds of Zizyphus trees rise like sentinels in deep concentration with their arms reaching out to the sky. Fujairah's charcoal-brown Al Hajjar Mountains keep watch around this tableau of nature. Any second, you expect Fred Flintstone in his leopard-skin tunic to come dashing around the corner, telling you to stop snooping around. But, nothing of the sort ...  >>MORE

Old city of Fujairah being renovated

Posted on 22/07/2003

Experts at the Department of Archaeology and Heritage are renovating the old city of Fujairah that houses the Old Fort of Fujairah, old palaces of the Ruling Family and residences. They have already completed restoring a number of important archaeological sites in Fujairah and are renovating other historic sites to make a complete heritage village that will attract tourists. Ahmed Khalifa Al Shamsi, Director of the department, said the renovation project started in 1997 when experts were ...  >>MORE

A window to Abu Dhabi’s fascinating past

Posted on 24/06/2003

The Abu Dhabi Islands Archaeological Survey, ADIAS, since it s inception in 1992, has surveyed more than 1,000 historical sites in Abu Dhabi's Western Region, its coastline and islands. Under the patronage of Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chief of Staff of the UAE Armed Forces, ADIAS was established on the instruction of President His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan to unfold the history of Abu Dhabi's coast and islands. In its 13 years, ADIAS identified more than 1,000 ...  >>MORE

The top sites of ADIAS

Posted on 24/06/2003

- The UAE's oldest village on Dalma Island. The radiocarbon dating of two stones found on the island has shown they are the oldest in Arabia, dating back to nearly 7,000 years. Other finds from the site include two round house-like structures with surviving post holes and floors. The site has also yielded thousands of Late Stone Age flints. - The Late Islamic sulphur mine at Jebel Dhanna. - The eigth million-year-old elephant fossil from Ruwais. Over ten feet long, this the is the ...  >>MORE

Marawah a focus of UAE archaeology, says ADIAS

Posted on 11/06/2003

Abu Dhabi's western island of Marawah is one of the key centres of archaeology in the UAE, according to the Abu Dhabi Islands Archaeological Survey, ADIAS, which has just completed mapping of known sites on the island. "More than 40 archaeological sites or groups of sites have now been identified on Marawah," according to ADIAS. "Some of these sites are individual ones, but many are large groups of archaeological sub-sites or features. In one area, alone, Site MR-9, we have found around 160 ...  >>MORE

French team unearths Iron Age remains

Posted on 13/04/2003

A French archaeological team has discovered the remains of temples dating back to the Iron Age at two sites the team unearthed last year. The three-member team has completed excavation in Al Bithna village, 13 km west of Fujairah city, where they discovered an old temple and a fortifications. Ahmed Khalifa Al Shamsi, Director of the Fujairah Department of Archaeology and Heritage, said: "They recently discovered a housing structure in the defensive site and more remains of old temples dating ...  >>MORE

UAE returns seized artefacts to Afghanistan

Posted on 13/04/2003

The United Emirates yesterday returned to Afghanistan 17 ancient Afghan artefacts seized from a foreigner trying to smuggle them via the Gulf to Europe. The artefacts, some of which date back to the second century, were handed over in a ceremony at the foreign ministry attend by the UAE Charge d'Affaires Abdullah Ali Al Mansouri. Deputy Minister of Information & Culture Abdul Hamid Mubariz thanks the UAE and said the return of the artefacts would help Afghanistan "to make up a little bit for ...  >>MORE

Dubai's exciting past slowly comes to light

Posted on 10/04/2003

Dubai's exciting past is slowly being unearthed with discoveries of interesting artefacts. This develops as an area between Jumeirah and Jebel Ali revealed remarkable traces of what archaeologists believe was once a rich hunting ground. German archaeologists have discovered a rich deposit of animal bones, some metallic tools and pottery at the Al Sufouh 2 site, inside the perimeter fence of the Dubai Internet City. The specialists, Professor Angela von den Driesch and Dr Claudia Gruber, ...  >>MORE

Talk on 4,000-year-old camel bones

Posted on 09/04/2003

Camels, the single-humped dromedaries, are the subject of deep discussion here, at the Sufouh II archaeological area in Jumeirah, Dubai. Dr Claudia Gruber and Professor Angela von den Driesch, both from the Ludwig-Maximilians University of Munich, Germany, who are currently working on the site, will make a presentation about their discoveries at 7.30pm on Sunday at the auditorium of Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management. Organised by the Dubai Natural History Group (DNHG), the event is ...  >>MORE

Ancient fortification discovered

Posted on 08/04/2003

An enormous defensive wall has been discovered by archaeologists of the National Museum of Ras Al Khaimah. The discovery was made during a general survey in February. Christian Velde, Resident Archaeologist, said the fortification is known to local people as "Wadi Sur". It was thought to be a dam erected to keep the Wadi Bah floods out of Shamal and Al Nakheel. A detailed examination of the fortification revealed it was built to fortify the area and originally consisted of a dam made from ...  >>MORE

Excavations begin at Khor Kalba

Posted on 31/03/2003

A two-man Japanese archaeological team started excavations in Khor Kalba two weeks ago. They were invited by the Archaeological Section at the Sharjah Department of Culture and Information. Dr Sasaki Hanae, a Japanese archaeologist, said: "This is not our first excavation in the UAE or Kalba. This year, we decided to dig in Khor Kalba to find out about the people who inhabited the area. "Geographically, the area was good for people to live in. It had and still has a creek, seaport and lots of ...  >>MORE

Fujairah excavation begins anew

Posted on 26/03/2003

The Department of Archaeology and Heritage started its new excavation early this month. It is planning to start a renovation project at Al Hail Castle and Ouhala Fort next month. A French team began excavation at Al Bithna village 10 days ago to mark the beginning of the new season. Ahmed Khalifa Al Shamsi, Department Director, said: "The French team, led by Dr Anne Benoist, returned this month to complete excavation at several sites in Al Bithna village. "Excavation started last year after ...  >>MORE

New evidence shows falaj in Al Ain is world's oldest

Posted on 16/03/2003

An archaeologist has gathered new evidence that proves the existence of the world's oldest known falaj – the ancient underground irrigation system – in the Al Ain region. The findings are based on a detailed scientific study on this ancient water system, traces of which are found in many countries of Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. The falaj system existed in the Al Ain region at about 1,000 years BC, making it the oldest, said Dr Walid Yasin Al Tikriti, Adviser of Archaeology at the ...  >>MORE

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Quick List

BP helps studies of UAE heritage


Excavation at Shamal tomb to resume in November


UAE experts fight to save Islam's earliest mosques


Historic tower may soon become history


UAE archaeology will be focus of London seminar


Al Hail castle in Fujairah to be renovated


Plans to rename historical landmark


Marawah excavations find Abu Dhabi's oldest inhabitant


A look into the past


6-8 million year old fossils to go on display


Archaeological digs `boost knowledge'


Archaeology conference in Al Ain opens


French team zeroes in on Hili necropolis


Archaeologists dig deep to trace history of explorer Bin Majid


Ancient records speak volumes about Julfar's rich history


Abu Dhabi to hold exhibition of fossil finds


Discoverer of Abu Dhabi's fossils dies


Painted pottery found by Japanese excavators


3,000 year-old buildings discovered


Facelift for Sheba Palace in Shamal is planned


Extensive archaeological excavation programme continues in Al Ain


NDC, ADIAS join forces to carry out survey of fossil sites


French team starts excavation work in UAQ


7000 year-old houses discovered on Marawah island


New book on Jebel Dhanna sulphur mines launched


Ancient Elephant Footprints discovered in Abu Dhabi's Western Region


Dam dating back to 1000 BC discovered


Reports on archaeological finds in UAE released


Who lived here before we came?


Old city of Fujairah being renovated


A window to Abu Dhabi’s fascinating past


The top sites of ADIAS


Marawah a focus of UAE archaeology, says ADIAS


French team unearths Iron Age remains


UAE returns seized artefacts to Afghanistan


Dubai's exciting past slowly comes to light


Talk on 4,000-year-old camel bones


Ancient fortification discovered


Excavations begin at Khor Kalba


Fujairah excavation begins anew


New evidence shows falaj in Al Ain is world's oldest