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Al Ain seminar showcases archaeological excavations

Sadiq A. Salam (Our staff reporter)
Filed on April 4, 2003

AL AIN - The archaeological and palaeontological excavations undertaken in the UAE throughout 2002-2003 was discussed during a two-day seminar organised by Zayed Centre for Heritage and History at Al Ain Le Mercure Hotel, Jebel Hafit.

The conference, attended by a large group of national, Arab and international experts, was designed to "Permit all those involved in palaeontological and archaeological studies in the UAE to exchange information on the results of research work undertaken throughout the previous season," said Dr Hassan Naboodah, director of the centre.

Delegates from some prestigious national and international educational and research centres like Zayed University, University of Sharjah, York of UK, Tubingen of Germany, Marburg, Munich, Ministry of Education, Emirates Natural History Group and Al Ain National Museum, took part in the seminar.

Dr Mark Beech of Abu Dhabi Island Archaeological Survey (Adias) and Will Higgs of York University presented a paper on ‘A new late miocene fossil site in Ruwais, Abu Dhabi Emirate.' The paper tackled a survey undertook by Adias on an area located near the junction of Ghiyathi Road and Tarif-Sila'a highway in the western region of Abu Dhabi emirate.

Fossil fragments

A rich collection of fossil material was collected across an area of approximately two sq. km, the paper said. To date, more than 5,000 fossil fragments have been collected, many of which are large enough and well preserved for identification of the animals, the study added.

A paper titled ‘Neolithic Life and Death in the Desert - Consideration after eight seasons at Al Buhais 18', presented by Dr Margarethe Uerpmann and Prof. Hans-Peter Uerpmann of Tubingen University and Dr. Sabah A. Jasim of Sharjah University, estimated the number of fossils buried there to be at more than 500.

The large number of hearths surrounding the graveyard and the heated roasting stones provide evidence on the living conditions of the represented population, the paper said.

Ahmed Hilal of the National Museum of Ras Al Khaimah, presented a paper entitled ‘Qarn Al-Harf', which is a prominent location between the large gravel fans of Wadi Bih and Wadi Naqab and has the remains of the second largest pre-historic cemetery in Ras Al-Khaimah.

The paper added that more than 60 burial structures are visible on the ground, of which most can be dated into the middle of the 3rd millennium BC.

The joint archaeological mission of Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) and the Jordanian Department of Archaeology have conducted initial surveys and excavations in the area extending from Hafeer in the west to Mafni, said Husain Qandeel, of Dubai Museum in his paper on ‘Archaeological Survey and Excavations in the Emirate of Dubai'.

Artefacts unearthed

The different artefacts and findings collected from these sites indicated that the area has evidences of a series of cultures and settlements, the oldest of them dating back to the pre-historic period.

The findings of minimum 60 individuals camel bones, in association with several fireplaces, cut marks, deposition out of anatomic context that prove the bones to be the remains of slaughtered animals make the Al Sufouh 2 of Dubai emirate a key site in the discussion of the domestication of the camel that supposedly took place around the 1st half of the 2nd millennium. This was the main feature of a paper titled ‘The Sufouh 2 excavation site in Dubai', presented by Helmut Bruckner of Marburg University and Claudia Gruber, Hernriette Manhart, Angela von den Driesch, Peter Werner of Munch University.





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