Excavation resumes at Nagfa Fort

AL AIN - The Department of Antiquities and Tourism in Al Ain has resumed excavations at the site of the remnants of Al Nagfa Fortress inside Al Ain city.

By Lana Mahdi

Published: Wed 10 Aug 2005, 11:22 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 7:13 PM

The excavations so far prove that the Al Nagfa Fortress is the oldest one at the city level. An official from the department said that the spot was located on the tip of the eastern side of Jabal Hafeet, and stretched to Assarouj Valley in Al Ain. In the earlier excavations, the remnants of pebble and clay tiled walls were discovered. Though corroded, the location of the fort and the mixture of earthenware scattered on the surface point to a defensive strategy.

The official said that the purpose of the fortification might have been to strengthen and protect the Al Ain Oasis.

Archaeologists have put the age of the pottery finds as those of late Islamic and Iron Age.

"It is too early to conclude if the Islamic castle was constructed on a previous one or not since the digs are limited to the surface stratums," said the official.

Al Ain City has several forts, predominantly constructed with mud bricks. The oldest fortress is the Al Meraijib Fort which was built more than 200 years ago.

The official said that the ancient monuments found at Al Nagfa and the excavation marks found up to now pointed to the fact that the Al Nagfa fort might have been the most ancient acknowledged fortification in Al Ain city, older by several hundred years from other forts in the area, dating as far back as the really ancient time.

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