3000-year-old buildings discovered

SHARJAH - 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.

By (By a staff reporter)

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Published: Mon 9 Feb 2004, 12:12 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 1:37 PM

The site, located 15km west of Sharjah city, has already revealed substantial evidence for a 3000-year old settlement which is one of the largest sites dating back to that age discovered so far in the United Arab Emirates. Previous finds included the oldest writing found in the UAE, the oldest Iron-Age artifacts and many buildings including a columned hall that must have functioned as the centre of an economic and political power within the settlement.This season’s excavations, the eighth at the same site, revealed several buildings inside the fortification wall, said a spokesperson of the department. “Previously, we had assumed that the central area of the site consisted of an open courtyard, but it appears that it is not the case,” the spokesperson said, adding that the recent excavations also revealed a new gateway in the eastern side of the settlement. “

This was constructed from stone and had a hardened plaster floor and had evidence for holes for large wooden doors. Several complete painted vessels and some iron artifacts were found associated with this gateway. To the south, a new building adjoining the fortification was also unearthed. This house is larger than most at the site and had plastered floors. A stone incense burner was found on the floor of one of the rooms of this building,” he said.

He said the joint team found evidence throughout all these buildings of a fiery destruction that brought the settlement to an end around 750BC. “This conclusion was drawn from the fact that a lot of archaeological materials have been discovered including pots, clay ovens, animal bones, burnt dates and date-seeds and shells that would have been obtained by the old inhabitants from the coast for eating,” the spokesperson observed, revealing that continued analysis of these finds will provide unparalleled data on how people lived 3000 years ago in Sharjah.

“It is now clear that the ancient settlement of Muweileh was larger and more complicated than we originally thought. We look forward to continued research at the site with the support and collaboration of Sharjah Archaeological Museum,” said a spokesperson for the Australian-American team.

Meanwhile, a Spanish Archaeological expedition from Otonoma University arrived in Sharjah last week to conduct excavations at Ak Thaquiba site in Al Madam Plain.

The Spanish team will focus on resuming excavations of ancient canals of water springs discovered last season in addition to digging other parts of this agricultural settlement which dates back to the first millennium B.C.

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