8,000-year-old village discovered in UAE

Hypothetical computer reconstruction of the village.- Supplied photo
Hypothetical computer reconstruction of the village.- Supplied photo

Abu Dhabi - The houses consist of several rooms and outdoor spaces for the keeping of animals and the preparation of food.

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By Jasmine Al Kuttab

Published: Wed 27 Jun 2018, 5:38 PM

Last updated: Fri 29 Jun 2018, 5:49 PM

The earliest known village in the UAE has been discovered by archaeologists in Abu Dhabi. Experts claimed it dates back to the New Stone Age, before 8,000 years.
Excavations by archaeologists from the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) on the island of Marawah have revealed that this is the oldest village discovered in the country.
According to new radiocarbon dating tests, the buildings found are aged nearly 8,000 years, a time known as the Neolithic per-iod or the New Stone Age. 
Officials said the houses uncovered at the site are remarkably well preserved, and the abodes were believed to be used for several hundred years.
The homes consist of several rooms and outdoor spaces for keeping animals and the preparation of food.
In total, there are 10 houses in the village, which reveal remarkable similarities in design and construction, explained the experts. The archaeologists are currently attempting to digitally recreate the village, in order to understand what it looked like nearly eight millennia ago. 
Experts said that although other finds from this era have been discovered elsewhere in the UAE, no architecture had been found until this. Moreover, archaeologists said that it had been assu-med by researchers that the inha-bitants of the land at this time were only nomadic pastoralists - people who moved around with their sheep and goats. But the discoveries at Marawah suggest otherwise. The evidence indicates that on this island, people began to settle in one place and build permanent structures.
Elsewhere in the ancient Middle East, this process was linked to the development of agriculture and at Marawah, it is believed an entirely novel process led to the construction of the village. 
Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, chairman of DCT Abu Dhabi, said the expertise of the team of archaeologists continues to reap rewards. "Their work is allowing us to dive deep into the emirate's history, piecing together an intri-guing and extraordinary story of the earliest known inhabitants of the emirate of Abu Dhabi."
He pointed out that the exciting discoveries serve to showcase Abu Dhabi's earliest years, and help accurately map out the country's development, by seeing just how far it has come. "As we continue to invest in these archeological excavations, we will no doubt understand our ancestors and our land better, and share these findings with the world," added Al Mubarak.
At Marawah, experts believe it was the bountiful resources of the Arabian Gulf, rather than growing crops, that likely convinced people to settle down and live in one place. In this way, the village can be seen as the first example of modern towns and cities.
These ancient people realised that the nearby sea provided a rich source of food and economic opportunities that were unique to this region, according to archaeologists. Experts suggest that the ancient inhabitants of Marawah realised that the Gulf was an ancient "superhighway" which connected them to their neighbours. Following this, they developed sophisticated "shipping technology" to conduct trade and business and become an early maritime trading power.
The importance of this trade has been revealed by the treasure trove of artifacts discovered at the site. One ceramic vessel discovered at Marawah and now on display at the Louvre Abu Dhabi museum, is the earliest example of a complete imported trade vessel found so far in the UAE.

KT Nano Edit

Discovering our history
The region and the country has a rich history, and we are just gathering more and more evidence of it. The recent excavations could unearth new discoveries and tell us about the past. It could shed light on the earliest inhabitants of the land that is today's UAE. History matters, and such revelations enlighten our knowledge of the past and guide our future.

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