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8,000-year-old village discovered in Abu Dhabi

The earliest known village in the UAE has been discovered by archaeologists in Abu Dhabi. Experts claimed the village dates back to the New Stone Age, before 8,000 years.

8,000-year-old village discovered in Abu Dhabi
Hypothetical reconstruction of Marawah 8,000 years ago [Credit: Image Nation - Abu Dhabi]
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 earliest village discovered in the country.

According to new radiocarbon tests, the buildings found are aged nearly 8,000 years, a time known as the Neolithic period or the New Stone Age.

Officials said the houses uncovered at the site are remarkably well-preserved, and the houses were believed to be used for several hundred years.

The houses consist of several rooms and outdoor spaces for the keeping of 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 how it appeared nearly 8,000 years ago.

8,000-year-old village discovered in Abu Dhabi
The remains of homes on Marawah [Credit: Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi]
Experts pointed out that although the findings from this time have been discovered elsewhere in the UAE, until now no architecture was found.

Moreover, archaeologists said that it had been assumed by researchers that the inhabitants of the UAE at the time were only nomadic pastoralists - people who moved around with their sheep and goats. But the discoveries at Marawah suggest otherwise.

Experts believe the evidence indicates that on this island, people began to settle on one place and built 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 deep-dive into the emirate's history, piecing together an intriguing and extraordinary story of the earliest known inhabitants of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi."

8,000-year-old village discovered in Abu Dhabi
The Marawah vase was found earlier and can be seen on display at Louvre Abu Dhabi
[Credit: Department of Culture and Tourism – 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 further understand our ancestors and our land, 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 the modern towns and cities.

These ancient people realised that the 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.

The importance of this trade has been revealed by the treasure trove of artifacts discovered at the site.

One ceramic vessel found at Marawah, now on display at Louvre Abu Dhabi, is the earliest example of a complete imported trade vessel so far found in the UAE.

Author: Jasmine Al Kuttab | Source: Khaleej Times [June 26, 2018]


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1 comment :

  1. These villagers from 8000 years ago should not be called "inhabitants of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi".


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