Sharjah’s Sira Khorfakkan Island to undergo historic transformation after being declared archaeological reserve

Pottery found on the island dates back to the 13th century CE


A Staff Reporter

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Published: Mon 13 Mar 2023, 5:29 PM

Sharjah’s ‘Sira Khorfakkan’ Island is undergoing a historic transformation after it was recently approved as an archaeological reserve by His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, in a step that underscores the island's special status in the region since time immemorial and spotlights its historical and archaeological value.

Based on the preliminary surveys of the island and the study of its archaeological confluences by the Sharjah Archaeology Authority, the human settlement had been concentrated on the western side of the island, overlooking Khorfakkan, another historically important city.

Pottery is widely found spread over this area along the coast extending from north to south, in addition to the presence of residential buildings, agricultural terraces, cemeteries, and an observation area at the top of the mountain. There is an important square-shaped building overlooking the coast directly with stone thresholds facing the sea. The shells collected and used as food can be widely seen.

Recapturing history

The Sharjah Archaeology Authority divided the main settlement period into two main stages - the first dating back to the 13th to the 16th century CE and the second being between the 18th and the 19th century CE. Celadon and porcelain date back to the 17th century CE are also found.

Among the most prominent archaeological finds on the island indicating historical periods is pottery dating back to the 13th century CE and celadon belonging to the 14th to the 16th century CE Pottery dating back to the 16th century imported from southern China was also found on the island in addition to others dating back to the 18th and 19th centuries. The Authority also discovered part of the base of a stone basin restored with a piece of copper.

Strategic importance

The Sharjah archaeological surveys bear out the historically rich nature of the island. It has a rich historical value, as it is one of the important islands in the region thanks to its strategic location overlooking the entrance of Khorfakkan from the eastern side. This made it an impenetrable island to monitor the marine traffic in the Sea of Oman, especially as it consists of heights of gabbro stone, reaching a height of 8.7 metres.

Geological studies have also shown the formation of ophiolite formations on the Sira Khorfakkan island as a result of the excessive push on the continental crust during the upper Cretaceous period, thus representing a slice of the oceanic lithosphere. Its width is approximately 35 metres, and its extension continues towards the north-south of the island.


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