Archaelogical digs `boost knowledge'

Sadiq A. Salam
Filed on April 9, 2004

AL AIN - 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 presentation of nine papers that tackle the recent significant archaeological discoveries in the country.

Dr Heiko Kallweit and Dr Mark Beech, both of Abu Dhabi Islands Archaeological Survey (ADIAS) and Dr Walid Yasin, of Al Ain Department of Antiquities and Tourism (DAT) have presented a paper titled Neolithic Occupation in the South-Eastern Region of the UAE.

The paper says that, "The discovery of (for the first time in the UAE) building structures in context with lithic surface on two different sites in an area close to Ummaz Umul, may change the situation that a part from the site of Buhais-18, in Sharjah, it has mainly been the coastal or island sites that have provided more than simple surface scatters of lithics."

The study has also pointed out that, "Pottery is completely absent in the area and the tools found are typologically linked to several different assemblage known from the UAE and from elsewhere in the Arabian Peninsula".

During the initial field season, in January and February 2004, "The team has mapped more than 80 different sites in the Kharimat area," the paper added.

Excavations carried in Marawah Island have uncovered a series of several major buildings, said a paper titled New results fro Excavations of Neolithic Settlement on Marawah Island, presented by Dr Mark Beech, of ADIAS, Richard Cuttler, Derek Moscrop, both of Birmingham University.

"One of these buildings is a well-constructed house with stone walls still surviving to a height of almost a meter in some places," the paper added.

"During the 5th millennium BC the whole of Jebel Buhais and the surrounding plains seem to have been used intensively for herding activities and for the extraction of flint from particular areas on the slopes," said a paper titled Neolithic Use of Space and Environment at Jebel Al Buhais, presented by Professor Hans-Peter Uerpmann, Dr Margarethe Uerpmann and Marc Haendel - all from University of Tubingen.

The conference also featured papers that shed light on the latest excavations that took place in the Al Sufouh-2 area, Dubai, Wadi Sur, Ras Al Khaimah, Fujairah Fort, mosques of Abu Dhabi islands and the traditional houses in Ras Al Khaimah.

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