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Archaeological finds shed light on life in Abu Dhabi, 7,000 years ago

Around 7,000 years ago, inhabitants of Abu Dhabi herded sheep and goats, and even used stone tools to hunt. They also used sea and its resources for food and sustenance, revealed ongoing excavations on Marawah Island.

Archaeological finds shed light on life in Abu Dhabi, 7,000 years ago
The excavation site on Marawah Island, Abu Dhabi [Credit: Khaleej Times]
Officials visited the excavation site on Monday to view the progress being made by archaeologists on their studies about the discoveries dating back to 7,000 years, which were discovered earlier this year. The findings indicated that during the ancient period, a sophisticated and highly skilled population was able to trade and thrive in challenging conditions and adapt to the changing environment.

Discoveries indicated that the ancient inhabitants of the area herded sheep and goats and used stone tools to hunt animals like gazelles. The large quantities of fish, dugong, turtle and dolphin bones show that people had come to understand the sea and use its resources for food and sustenance.

Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, chairman of the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi, and Saif Saeed Ghobash, director-general of the department visited the site.

Radiocarbon dating indicated that the settlement dates back to the Neolithic period. Hundreds of artefacts found within the site allowed experts to piece together a comprehensive picture of what life was like in the UAE 7,500 years ago.

Al Mubarak said ancient sites, such as those found on Marawah Island, are priceless resources.

"We can explore the history of our ancestors and understand the roots of our heritage. The Department of Culture and Tourism is dedicated to preservation and conservation of our past, as well as the development of rigorous research and documentation processes to ensure that generations to come can explore and learn about our cultural legacy.

"The discoveries made on Marawah Island continue to provide valuable findings that can only be obtained through careful study and excavation work of such archaeological sites."

Excavations have also unearthed very fine, small beads made from shell and a small shark's tooth. Archaeologists believe these items were probably worn as adornment.

Previous excavations at the site resulted in the discovery of a complete and highly decorated ceramic jar made in Iraq, which indicates that the inhabitants of Marawah also used the sea for trade. This jar was transported more than a thousand kilometres by sea and is early evidence for the beginning of long-distance maritime trade in the Arabian Gulf.

Research has shown that Marawah inhabitants enjoyed a climate with higher levels of rainfall than today. Around 6,000 years ago, the situation changed and the area became very arid.

Following the abandonment of the village, some of the rooms were used for burial purposes. Two skeletons were found, each in a crouched position with the head facing towards the east in a form of burial typical of other known Late Stone Age burials, such as those from Jebel Buhais in Sharjah.

Efforts to examine the skeletal remains by experts are underway to determine more information about their age and health.

Author: Jasmine Al Kuttab | Source: Khaleej Times [October 26, 2017]

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