Arabs

Arabere

Mada’in Saleh/ Al-Hijr/ Hegra

Petra

Islam

Arabere:

Pre-Islamic Arabia[1] (Arabic: شبه الجزيرة العربية قبل الإسلام) is the Arabian Peninsula prior to the emergence of Islam in 610 CE.
 
Some of the settled communities developed into distinctive civilizations. Information about these communities is limited and has been pieced together from archaeological evidence, accounts written outside of Arabia, and Arab oral traditions which were later recorded by Islamic scholars. Among the most prominent civilizations were the Thamud civilization, which arose around 3000 BCE and lasted to around 300 CE, and the Dilmun civilization, which arose around the end of the fourth millennium and lasted to around 600 CE. Additionally, from the beginning of the first millennium BCE, Southern Arabia was the home to a number of kingdoms such as the Sabaeans, and Eastern Arabia was inhabited by Semitic speakers who presumably migrated from the southwest, such as the so-called Samad population. A few nodal points were controlled by Iranian Parthian and Sassanian colonists.
 
Pre-Islamic religion in Arabia included indigenous polytheistic beliefs, various forms of Christianity, Judaism, and Zoroastrianism.
 
 
Contents
1 Studies
2 Prehistoric to Iron Age
2.1 Magan, Midian, and ʿĀd
3 Overview of major kingdoms
4 Eastern Arabia
4.1 Dilmun
4.2 Gerrha
4.3 Tylos
4.4 Parthian and Sassanid
4.5 Beth Qatraye
4.6 Beth Mazunaye
5 South Arabian kingdoms
5.1 Kingdom of Ma’īn (7th century BCE – 1st century BCE)
5.2 Kingdom of Saba (9th century BCE – 275 CE)
5.3 Kingdom of Hadhramaut (8th century BCE – 3rd century CE)
5.4 Kingdom of Awsān (8th century BCE – 6th century BCE)
5.5 Kingdom of Qataban (4th century BCE – 3rd century CE)
5.6 Kingdom of Himyar (late 2nd century BCE – 525 CE)
5.6.1 Aksumite occupation of Yemen (525 – 570 CE)
5.6.2 Sassanid period (570 – 630 CE)
6 Hejaz
6.1 Thamud
7 North Arabian kingdoms
7.1 Kingdom of Qedar (8th century BCE – ?)
7.2 The Achaemenids in Northern Arabia
7.3 Nabateans
7.4 Roman Arabia
7.5 Qahtanites
8 Central Arabia
8.1 Kingdom of Kindah
9 People
9.1 Sedentary Arabs
9.2 Bedouin tribes
9.3 Solluba
9.4 Arab genealogical tradition
10 Religion
11 Art
12 Late Antiquity
12.1 Fall of the Empires
12.2 Rise of Islam
13 See also
14 Notes
15 Further reading
Studies
See also: Arab studies
Scientific studies of Pre-Islamic Arabs starts with the Arabists of the early 19th century when they managed to decipher epigraphic Old South Arabian (10th century BCE), Ancient North Arabian (6th century BCE) and other writings of pre-Islamic Arabia. Thus, studies are no longer limited to the written traditions, which are not local due to the lack of surviving Arab historians’ accounts of that era; the paucity of material is compensated for by written sources from other cultures (such as Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, etc.), so it was not known in great detail. From the 3rd century CE, Arabian history becomes more tangible with the rise of the Ḥimyarite, and with the appearance of the Qaḥṭānites in the Levant and the gradual assimilation of the Nabataeans by the Qaḥṭānites in the early centuries CE, a pattern of expansion exceeded in the Muslim conquests of the 7th century. Sources of history include archaeological evidence, foreign accounts and oral traditions later recorded by Islamic scholars—especially in the pre-Islamic poems—and the Ḥadīth, plus a number of ancient Arab documents that survived into medieval times when portions of them were cited or recorded. Archaeological exploration in the Arabian Peninsula has been sparse but fruitful; and many ancient sites have been identified by modern excavations. The most recent detailed study of pre-Islamic Arabia is Arabs and Empires Before Islam, published by Oxford University Press in 2015. This book collects a diverse range of ancient texts and inscriptions for the history especially of the northern region during this time period.
 
Prehistoric to Iron Age
Ubaid period (5300 BCE) – could have originated in Eastern Arabia.
Umm an-Nar Culture (2600–2000 BCE)
Sabr culture (2000 BCE)
Wadi Suq Culture (1900–1300 BCE)
Lizq/Rumaylah = Early Iron Age (1300–300 BCE)
Samad Period Late Iron Age (c. 100 BCE–c.300 CE)
Recent Pre-Islamic Period (c. 150 BCE–c. 325 CE)
Magan, Midian, and ʿĀd
Further information: ʿĀd, Midian, and Majan (Civilization)
Magan is attested as the name of a trading partner of the Sumerians. It is often assumed to have been located in Oman.
The A’adids established themselves in South Arabia (modern-day Yemen), settling to the east of the Qahtan tribe. They established the Kingdom of ʿĀd around the 10th century BCE to the 3rd century CE.
The ʿĀd nation were known to the Greeks and Egyptians. Claudius Ptolemy’s Geographos (2nd century CE) refers to the area as the “land of the Iobaritae” a region which legend later referred to as Ubar.[2]
 
The origin of the Midianites has not been established. Because of the Mycenaean motifs on what is referred to as Midianite pottery, some scholars including George Mendenhall,[3] Peter Parr,[4] and Beno Rothenberg[5] have suggested that the Midianites were originally Sea Peoples who migrated from the Aegean region and imposed themselves on a pre-existing Semitic stratum. The question of the origin of the Midianites still remains open.
 
Overview of major kingdoms
The history of Pre-Islamic Arabia before the rise of Islam in the 610s is not known in great detail. Archaeological exploration in the Arabian peninsula has been sparse; indigenous written sources are limited to the many inscriptions and coins from southern Arabia. Existing material consists primarily of written sources from other traditions (such as Egyptians, Greeks, Persians, Romans, etc.) and oral traditions later recorded by Islamic scholars. Many small kingdoms prospered from Red sea and Indian Ocean trade. Major kingdoms included the Sabaeans, Awsan, Himyar and the Nabateans
 
The first known inscriptions of the Kingdom of Hadhramaut are known from the 8th century BC. It was first referenced by an outside civilization in an Old Sabaic inscription of Karab’il Watar from the early 7th century BC, in which the King of Hadramaut, Yada`’il, is mentioned as being one of his allies.
 
Dilmun appears first in Sumerian cuneiform clay tablets dated to the end of 4th millennium BC, found in the temple of goddess Inanna, in the city of Uruk. The adjective Dilmun refers to a type of axe and one specific official; in addition, there are lists of rations of wool issued to people connected with Dilmun.[6]
 
The Sabaeans were an ancient people speaking an Old South Arabian language who lived in what is today Yemen, in south west Arabian Peninsula; from 2000 BC to the 8th century BC. Some Sabaeans also lived in D’mt, located in northern Ethiopia and Eritrea, due to their hegemony over the Red Sea.[7] They lasted from the early 2nd millennium to the 1st century BC. In the 1st century BC it was conquered by the Himyarites, but after the disintegration of the first Himyarite empire of the Kings of Saba’ and dhu-Raydan the Middle Sabaean Kingdom reappeared in the early 2nd century. It was finally conquered by the Himyarites in the late 3rd century.
 
The ancient Kingdom of Awsan with a capital at Hagar Yahirr in the wadi Markha, to the south of the wadi Bayhan, is now marked by a tell or artificial mound, which is locally named Hagar Asfal. Once it was one of the most important small kingdoms of South Arabia. The city seems to have been destroyed in the 7th century BC by the king and mukarrib of Saba Karib’il Watar, according to a Sabaean text that reports the victory in terms that attest to its significance for the Sabaeans.
 
The Himyar was a state in ancient South Arabia dating from 110 BC. It conquered neighbouring Saba (Sheba) in c. 25 BC, Qataban in c. 200 AD and Hadramaut c. 300 AD. Its political fortunes relative to Saba changed frequently until it finally conquered the Sabaean Kingdom around 280 AD.[8] It was the dominant state in Arabia until 525 AD. The economy was based on agriculture.
 
Foreign trade was based on the export of frankincense and myrrh. For many years it was also the major intermediary linking East Africa and the Mediterranean world. This trade largely consisted of exporting ivory from Africa to be sold in the Roman Empire. Ships from Himyar regularly traveled the East African coast, and the state also exerted a considerable amount of political control of the trading cities of East Africa.
 
The Nabataean origins remain obscure. On the similarity of sounds, Jerome suggested a connection with the tribe Nebaioth mentioned in Genesis, but modern historians are cautious about an early Nabatean history. The Babylonian captivity that began in 586 BC opened a power vacuum in Judah, and as Edomites moved into Judaean grazing lands, Nabataean inscriptions began to be left in Edomite territory (earlier than 312 BC, when they were attacked at Petra without success by Antigonus I). The first definite appearance was in 312 BC, when Hieronymus of Cardia, a Seleucid officer, mentioned the Nabateans in a battle report. In 50 BC, the Greek historian Diodorus Siculus cited Hieronymus in his report, and added the following: “Just as the Seleucids had tried to subdue them, so the Romans made several attempts to get their hands on that lucrative trade.”
 
Petra or Sela was the ancient capital of Edom; the Nabataeans must have occupied the old Edomite country, and succeeded to its commerce, after the Edomites took advantage of the Babylonian captivity to press forward into southern Judaea. This migration, the date of which cannot be determined, also made them masters of the shores of the Gulf of Aqaba and the important harbor of Elath. Here, according to Agatharchides, they were for a time very troublesome, as wreckers and pirates, to the reopened commerce between Egypt and the East, until they were chastised by the Ptolemaic rulers of Alexandria.
 
The Lakhmid Kingdom was founded by the Lakhum tribe that immigrated out of Yemen in the 2nd century and ruled by the Banu Lakhm, hence the name given it. It was formed of a group of Arab Christians who lived in Southern Iraq, and made al-Hirah their capital in (266). The founder of the dynasty was ‘Amr and the son Imru’ al-Qais converted to Christianity. Gradually the whole city converted to that faith. Imru’ al-Qais dreamt of a unified and independent Arab kingdom and, following that dream, he seized many cities in Arabia.
 
The Ghassanids were a group of South Arabian Christian tribes that emigrated in the early 3rd century from Yemen to the Hauran in southern Syria, Jordan and the Holy Land where they intermarried with Hellenized Roman settlers and Greek-speaking Early Christian communities. The Ghassanid emigration has been passed down in the rich oral tradition of southern Syria. It is said that the Ghassanids came from the city of Ma’rib in Yemen. There was a dam in this city, however one year there was so much rain that the dam was carried away by the ensuing flood. Thus the people there had to leave. The inhabitants emigrated seeking to live in less arid lands and became scattered far and wide. The proverb “They were scattered like the people of Saba” refers to that exodus in history. The emigrants were from the southern Arab tribe of Azd of the Kahlan branch of Qahtani tribes.
 
Eastern Arabia
Main articles: Eastern Arabia and Christianity in Eastern Arabia
The sedentary people of pre-Islamic Eastern Arabia were mainly Aramaic speakers and to some degree Persian speakers while Syriac functioned as a liturgical language.[9][10] In pre-Islamic times, the population of Eastern Arabia consisted of Christianized Arabs (including Abd al-Qays), Aramean Christians, Persian-speaking Zoroastrians[11] and Jewish agriculturalists.[9][12] According to Robert Bertram Serjeant, the Baharna may be the Arabized “descendants of converts from the original population of Christians (Aramaeans), Jews and ancient Persians (Majus) inhabiting the island and cultivated coastal provinces of Eastern Arabia at the time of the Arab conquest”.[12][13] Other archaeological assemblages cannot be clearly brought clearly into larger context, such as the Samad Late Iron Age.[14]
 
Zoroastrianism was also present in Eastern Arabia.[15][16][17] The Zoroastrians of Eastern Arabia were known as “Majoos” in pre-Islamic times.[18] The sedentary dialects of Eastern Arabia, including Bahrani Arabic, were influenced by Akkadian, Aramaic and Syriac languages.[19][20]
 
Dilmun
Main article: Dilmun
 
Dilmun and its neighbors in the 10th century BCE.
The Dilmun civilization was an important trading centre[21] which at the height of its power controlled the Persian Gulf trading routes.[21] The Sumerians regarded Dilmun as holy land.[22] Dilmun is regarded as one of the oldest ancient civilizations in the Middle East.[23][24] The Sumerians described Dilmun as a paradise garden in the Epic of Gilgamesh.[25] The Sumerian tale of the garden paradise of Dilmun may have been an inspiration for the Garden of Eden story.[25] Dilmun appears first in Sumerian cuneiform clay tablets dated to the end of fourth millennium BCE, found in the temple of goddess Inanna, in the city of Uruk. The adjective “Dilmun” is used to describe a type of axe and one specific official; in addition there are lists of rations of wool issued to people connected with Dilmun.[26]
 
Dilmun was an important trading center from the late fourth millennium to 1800 BCE.[21] Dilmun was very prosperous during the first 300 years of the second millennium.[27] Dilmun’s commercial power began to decline between 2000 BCE and 1800 BCE because piracy flourished in the Persian Gulf. In 600 BCE, the Babylonians and later the Persians added Dilmun to their empires.
 
The Dilmun civilization was the centre of commercial activities linking traditional agriculture of the land with maritime trade between diverse regions as the Indus Valley and Mesopotamia in the early period and China and the Mediterranean in the later period (from the 3rd to the 16th century CE).[24]
 
Dilmun was mentioned in two letters dated to the reign of Burna-Buriash II (c. 1370 BCE) recovered from Nippur, during the Kassite dynasty of Babylon. These letters were from a provincial official, Ilī-ippašra, in Dilmun to his friend Enlil-kidinni in Mesopotamia. The names referred to are Akkadian. These letters and other documents, hint at an administrative relationship between Dilmun and Babylon at that time. Following the collapse of the Kassite dynasty, Mesopotamian documents make no mention of Dilmun with the exception of Assyrian inscriptions dated to 1250 BCE which proclaimed the Assyrian king to be king of Dilmun and Meluhha. Assyrian inscriptions recorded tribute from Dilmun. There are other Assyrian inscriptions during the first millennium BCE indicating Assyrian sovereignty over Dilmun.[28] Dilmun was also later on controlled by the Kassite dynasty in Mesopotamia.[29]
 
Dilmun, sometimes described as “the place where the sun rises” and “the Land of the Living”, is the scene of some versions of the Sumerian creation myth, and the place where the deified Sumerian hero of the flood, Utnapishtim (Ziusudra), was taken by the gods to live forever. Thorkild Jacobsen’s translation of the Eridu Genesis calls it “Mount Dilmun” which he locates as a “faraway, half-mythical place”.[30]
 
Dilmun is also described in the epic story of Enki and Ninhursag as the site at which the Creation occurred. The promise of Enki to Ninhursag, the Earth Mother:
 
For Dilmun, the land of my lady’s heart, I will create long waterways, rivers and canals, whereby water will flow to quench the thirst of all beings and bring abundance to all that lives.
 
Ninlil, the Sumerian goddess of air and south wind had her home in Dilmun. It is also featured in the Epic of Gilgamesh.
 
However, in the early epic “Enmerkar and the Lord of Aratta”, the main events, which center on Enmerkar’s construction of the ziggurats in Uruk and Eridu, are described as taking place in a world “before Dilmun had yet been settled”.
 
Gerrha
Main article: Gerrha
 
Gerrha and its neighbors in 1 CE.
Gerrha (Arabic: جرهاء‎), was an ancient city of Eastern Arabia, on the west side of the Persian Gulf. More accurately, the ancient city of Gerrha has been determined to have existed near or under the present fort of Uqair.[citation needed] This fort is 50 miles northeast of Al-Hasa in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia. This site was first proposed by R E Cheesman in 1924.
 
Gerrha and Uqair are archaeological sites on the eastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula.[31][32] Prior to Gerrha, the area belonged to the Dilmun civilization, which was conquered by the Assyrian Empire in 709 BCE. Gerrha was the center of an Arab kingdom from approximately 650 BCE to circa 300 CE. The kingdom was attacked by Antiochus III the Great in 205-204 BCE, though it seems to have survived. It is currently unknown exactly when Gerrha fell, but the area was under Sassanid Persian control after 300 CE.
 
Gerrha was described by Strabo[33] as inhabited by Chaldean exiles from Babylon, who built their houses of salt and repaired them by the application of salt water. Pliny the Elder (lust. Nat. vi. 32) says it was 5 miles in circumference with towers built of square blocks of salt.
 
Gerrha was destroyed by the Qarmatians in the end of the 9th century where all inhabitants were massacred (300,000).[34] It was 2 miles from the Persian Gulf near current day Hofuf. The researcher Abdulkhaliq Al Janbi argued in his book[35] that Gerrha was most likely the ancient city of Hajar, located in modern-day Al Ahsa, Saudi Arabia. Al Janbi’s theory is the most widely accepted one by modern scholars, although there are some difficulties with this argument given that Al Ahsa is 60 km inland and thus less likely to be the starting point for a trader’s route, making the location within the archipelago of islands comprising the modern Kingdom of Bahrain, particularly the main island of Bahrain itself, another possibility.[36]
 
Various other identifications of the site have been attempted, Jean Baptiste Bourguignon d’Anville choosing Qatif, Carsten Niebuhr preferring Kuwait and C Forster suggesting the ruins at the head of the bay behind the islands of Bahrain.
 
Tylos
Main article: Tylos
 
Asia in 600 CE, showing the Sassanid Empire before the Arab conquest.
Bahrain was referred to by the Greeks as Tylos, the centre of pearl trading, when Nearchus came to discover it serving under Alexander the Great.[37] From the 6th to 3rd century BCE Bahrain was included in Persian Empire by Achaemenians, an Iranian dynasty.[38] The Greek admiral Nearchus is believed to have been the first of Alexander’s commanders to visit this islands, and he found a verdant land that was part of a wide trading network; he recorded: “That in the island of Tylos, situated in the Persian Gulf, are large plantations of cotton tree, from which are manufactured clothes called sindones, a very different degrees of value, some being costly, others less expensive. The use of these is not confined to India, but extends to Arabia.”[39] The Greek historian, Theophrastus, states that much of the islands were covered in these cotton trees and that Tylos was famous for exporting walking canes engraved with emblems that were customarily carried in Babylon.[40] Ares was also worshipped by the ancient Baharna and the Greek colonists.[41]
 
It is not known whether Bahrain was part of the Seleucid Empire, although the archaeological site at Qalat Al Bahrain has been proposed as a Seleucid base in the Persian Gulf.[42] Alexander had planned to settle the eastern shores of the Persian Gulf with Greek colonists, and although it is not clear that this happened on the scale he envisaged, Tylos was very much part of the Hellenised world: the language of the upper classes was Greek (although Aramaic was in everyday use), while Zeus was worshipped in the form of the Arabian sun-god Shams.[43] Tylos even became the site of Greek athletic contests.[44]
 
The name Tylos is thought to be a Hellenisation of the Semitic, Tilmun (from Dilmun).[45] The term Tylos was commonly used for the islands until Ptolemy’s Geographia when the inhabitants are referred to as ‘Thilouanoi’.[46] Some place names in Bahrain go back to the Tylos era, for instance, the residential suburb of Arad in Muharraq, is believed to originate from “Arados”, the ancient Greek name for Muharraq island.[47]
 
 
Phoenicians man their ships in service to Assyrian king Sennacherib, during his war against the Chaldeans in the Persian Gulf, c. 700 BCE
Herodotus’s account (written c. 440 BCE) refers to the Io and Europa myths. (History, I:1).
According to the Persians best informed in history, the Phoenicians began the quarrel. These people, who had formerly dwelt on the shores of the Erythraean Sea (the eastern part of the Arabia peninsula), having migrated to the Mediterranean and settled in the parts which they now inhabit, began at once, they say, to adventure on long voyages, freighting their vessels with the wares of Egypt and Assyria…
 
— Herodotus
The Greek historian Strabo believed the Phoenicians originated from Eastern Arabia.[48] Herodotus also believed that the homeland of the Phoenicians was Eastern Arabia.[49][50] This theory was accepted by the 19th-century German classicist Arnold Heeren who said that: “In the Greek geographers, for instance, we read of two islands, named Tyrus or Tylos, and Arad, Bahrain, which boasted that they were the mother country of the Phoenicians, and exhibited relics of Phoenician temples.”[51] The people of Tyre in particular have long maintained Persian Gulf origins, and the similarity in the words “Tylos” and “Tyre” has been commented upon.[52] However, there is little evidence of occupation at all in Bahrain during the time when such migration had supposedly taken place.[53]
 
With the waning of Seleucid Greek power, Tylos was incorporated into Characene or Mesenian, the state founded in what today is Kuwait by Hyspaosines in 127 BCE. A building inscriptions found in Bahrain indicate that Hyspoasines occupied the islands, (and it also mention his wife, Thalassia).
 
Parthian and Sassanid
From the 3rd century BCE to arrival of Islam in the 7th century CE, Eastern Arabia was controlled by two other Iranian dynasties of the Parthians and Sassanids.
 
By about 250 BCE, the Seleucids lost their territories to Parthians, an Iranian tribe from Central Asia. The Parthian dynasty brought the Persian Gulf under their control and extended their influence as far as Oman. Because they needed to control the Persian Gulf trade route, the Parthians established garrisons in the southern coast of Persian Gulf.[54]
 
In the 3rd century CE, the Sassanids succeeded the Parthians and held the area until the rise of Islam four centuries later.[54] Ardashir, the first ruler of the Iranian Sassanians dynasty marched down the Persian Gulf to Oman and Bahrain and defeated Sanatruq [55] (or Satiran[38]), probably the Parthian governor of Eastern Arabia.[56] He appointed his son Shapur I as governor of Eastern Arabia. Shapur constructed a new city there and named it Batan Ardashir after his father.[38] At this time, Eastern Arabia incorporated the southern Sassanid province covering the Persian Gulf’s southern shore plus the archipelago of Bahrain.[56] The southern province of the Sassanids was subdivided into three districts of Haggar (Hofuf, Saudi Arabia), Batan Ardashir (al-Qatif province, Saudi Arabia), and Mishmahig (Muharraq, Bahrain; also referred to as Samahij)[38] (In Middle-Persian/Pahlavi means “ewe-fish”.[57]) which included the Bahrain archipelago that was earlier called Aval.[38][56] The name, meaning ‘ewe-fish’ would appear to suggest that the name /Tulos/ is related to Hebrew /ṭāleh/ ‘lamb’ (Strong’s 2924).[58]
 
Beth Qatraye
Main article: Christianity in Eastern Arabia
The Christian name used for the region encompassing north-eastern Arabia was Beth Qatraye, or “the Isles”.[59] The name translates to ‘region of the Qataris’ in Syriac.[60] It included Bahrain, Tarout Island, Al-Khatt, Al-Hasa, and Qatar.[61]
 
By the 5th century, Beth Qatraye was a major centre for Nestorian Christianity, which had come to dominate the southern shores of the Persian Gulf.[62][63] As a sect, the Nestorians were often persecuted as heretics by the Byzantine Empire, but eastern Arabia was outside the Empire’s control offering some safety. Several notable Nestorian writers originated from Beth Qatraye, including Isaac of Nineveh, Dadisho Qatraya, Gabriel of Qatar and Ahob of Qatar.[62][64] Christianity’s significance was diminished by the arrival of Islam in Eastern Arabia by 628.[65] In 676, the bishops of Beth Qatraye stopped attending synods; although the practice of Christianity persisted in the region until the late 9th century.[62]
 
The dioceses of Beth Qatraye did not form an ecclesiastical province, except for a short period during the mid-to-late seventh century.[62] They were instead subject to the Metropolitan of Fars.
 
Beth Mazunaye
Main article: Christianity in Eastern Arabia
Oman and the United Arab Emirates comprised the ecclesiastical province known as Beth Mazunaye. The name was derived from ‘Mazun’, the Persian name for Oman and the United Arab Emirates.[59]
The history of the Arabian Peninsula goes back to the beginnings of human habitation in Arabia up to 130,000 years ago.[45] However, a homo sapien fossilized finger bone was found at Al Wusta in the Nefud Desert, which indicates that the first human migration out of Africa to Arabia might date back to approximately 90,000 years ago.[46] Nevertheless, the stone tools from the Middle Paleolithic age along with fossils of other animals discovered at Ti’s al Ghadah, in northwestern Saudi Arabia, might imply that hominids migrated through a “Green Arabia” between 300,000 and 500,000 years ago.[47] Acheulean tools found in Saffaqah, Riyadh Region reveal that hominins lived in the Arabian Peninsula as recently as 188,000 years ago.[48]
 
Pre-Islamic Arabia
Main articles: Pre-Islamic Arabia and Arabian Peninsula in the Roman era
 
Sabaean inscription addressed to the god Almaqah, mentioning five Ancient Yemeni gods, two reigning sovereigns and two governors, 7th century BC
There is evidence that human habitation in the Arabian Peninsula dates back to about 106,000 to 130,000 years ago.[49] The harsh climate historically[when?] prevented much settlement in the pre-Islamic Arabian peninsula, apart from a small number of urban trading settlements, such as Mecca and Medina, located in the Hejaz in the west of the peninsula.[50]
 
Archaeology has revealed the existence of many civilizations in pre-Islamic Arabia (such as the Thamud), especially in South Arabia.[51][52] South Arabian civilizations include the Sheba, the Himyarite Kingdom, the Kingdom of Awsan, the Kingdom of Ma’īn and the Sabaean Kingdom. Central Arabia was the location of the Kingdom of Kindah in the 4th, 5th and early 6th centuries AD. Eastern Arabia was home to the Dilmun civilization. The earliest known events in Arabian history are migrations from the peninsula into neighbouring areas.[53]
 
The Arabian peninsula has long been accepted as the original Urheimat of the Semitic languages by a majority of scholars.[54][55][56][57]
The area currently known as the United Arab Emirates (UAE) (previously the Trucial States) was formerly populated by inhabitants of a number of coastal and inland settlements, with human remains pointing to a pattern of transmigration and settlement as far back as 125,000 years.[1] Prehistoric settlement in the UAE spanned the Neolithic, with a number of distinctive eras of ancient settlement including the Stone Age Arabian Bifacial and Ubaid cultures from 5,000 to 3,100 BCE; the Hafeet period with its distinctive beehive shaped tombs and Jemdet Nasr pottery, from 3,200 to 2,600 BCE; the Umm Al Nar period from 2,600 to 2,000 BCE; the Wadi Suq Culture from 2,000–1,300 BCE and the three Iron Ages of the UAE.
 
The UAE’s Iron Age I spanned 1,200–1,000 BCE; Iron Age II, 1,000–600 BCE and Iron Age III from 600–300 BCE. This was followed by the Hellenistic Mleiha (or Late Pre-Islamic) era, from 300 BCE onwards through to the Islamic era which commenced with the culmination of the 7th century Ridda Wars.
 
The remains of settlements, burials and other extensive evidence of human habitation throughout these eras is littered throughout the UAE, with many extensive finds of rich materials in the shape of pottery, jewellery, weapons and both human and animal remains providing archaeologists and researchers with an increasingly sophisticated picture of longstanding involvement in regional trade alongside nomadic cultures eking out a living from the frequently arid and inhospitable desert and mountain environment of the UAE.
 
The first modern digs to take place in the Trucial States were led by teams from the Danish Moesgaard Museum in 1959[2] and focused the island of Umm Al Nar before going on to investigate the beehive tombs in and around the area of Al Ain (then often still known as Buraimi) in the emirate of Abu Dhabi.
 
 
Contents
1 First discovery
2 Prehistory
3 Arabian bifacial
4 Ed-Dur
5 Hafit period
6 Umm Al Nar period
7 Wadi Suq period
8 Iron Age
9 Saruq Al Hadid
10 Post Islamic finds
11 See also
12 References
First discovery
 
The ‘Iron Age’ building at Jebel Buhais
The first archaeological excavations in the UAE were in 1959, led by Peter Glob and his assistant Geoffrey Bibby. Glob was a professor at Aarhus University and director of its Moesgaard Museum. He had undertaken a series of digs in Bahrain and was contacted by the director of Abu Dhabi Marine Areas Ltd, an oil company, Temple Hillyard, who invited them to visit some graves he had found on the small island of Umm Al Nar (then referred to as Umm an-Nar), having been directed to the site by the then-Ruler of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Shakhbut bin Sultan Al Nahyan. Hillyard had already determined that the tumuli were ‘reminiscent of the Bronze Age one in Bahrain’.[3] During excavations at Umm Al Nar, the Ruler’s brother, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan visited the dig and told the archaeologists that there were many more such artefacts in Al Ain. He invited them to visit him and led them to a group of some 200 burial cairns – what would later turn out to be Hafit period burials. Zayed later took members of the Danish team to other sites in the area, including a low tell which is now known as Rumailah, a significant Iron Age site.[4]
 
Subsequent excavations by teams from Iraq in the 1970s unveiled the Jebel Buhais site,[5] as well as the hugely significant ancient city of Ed-Dur. Since then, digs have taken place around the UAE by teams from universities in France, Spain, Germany, Jordan, Australia and the UK.
 
Prehistory
The Mleiha Archaeological Centre displays evidence of the oldest archaeological finds in the UAE, the prehistoric Faya-1 collection, which dates human occupation in the area to 130,000–120,000 BCE and has been linked to the movement of the first anthropologically modern humans from Africa to populate the world.[6] The Faya discovery, made in 2011, includes primitive hand-axes, as well as several kinds of scrapers and perforators, which resemble those used by early modern humans in East Africa. Through the technique of thermoluminescence dating the artefacts were placed at 125,000 years old. This is the earliest evidence of modern humans found anywhere outside Africa and implies modern humans left Africa much earlier than previously thought.[7] Mleiha is also the site of Neolithic as well as Umm Al Nar period burials,[8] and gives its name to the Hellenistic Mleiha period (now more commonly referred to as the ‘late pre-Islamic period’), from 300 BCE onwards, characterised by the extensive fortified compound, ‘Mleiha Fort’, which was discovered in the late 1990s and is thought to have been possibly the seat of an ancient South Arabian kingdom.[9]
 
The oldest radiometrically dated inland burial site in the UAE is the extensive necropolis at Jebel Buhais.[10] The site, located near Madam, in Sharjah, consists of burial sites spanning the Stone, Bronze, Iron and pre-Islamic ages of human settlement in the UAE. Burials at Jebel Buhais (Jebel is Arabic for mountain) date back to the 5th millennium BCE.[11]
 
Arabian bifacial
During the glacial maximum period, 68,000 to 8,000 BCE, Eastern Arabia is thought to have been uninhabitable. Finds from the stone age Arabian Bifacial and Ubaid cultures (including knapped stone arrow and axe heads as well as Ubaid pottery) show human habitation in the area from 5000 to 3100 BCE. The archaeological record shows that Arabian Bifacial/Ubaid period came to an abrupt end in eastern Arabia and the Oman peninsula at 3800 BC, just after the phase of lake lowering and onset of dune reactivation.[12] There is no evidence of human presence in the area for approximately 1,000 years, the so-called “Dark Millennium”.[13] This is thought to be consistent with changing patterns of human life as a result of climate change: a spring discovered at Jebel Buhais dried up at this stage, an event contemporaneous with similar discoveries pointing to increased aridity in the interior of Oman. Throughout Southern Arabia, evidence of human inland settlement in the 3rd millennium BCE is scant.[14]
 
Ed-Dur
Main article: Ed-Dur
One of the most significant archaeological sites in the UAE is that at Ed-Dur, an Ancient Near Eastern City located in Umm Al Qawain.[15] One of the largest sites in the country, comprising an area of some five kilometres, the coastal settlement overlooks the Al Beidha Lake. It has been dubbed ‘one of the most significant lost cities of Arabia’.[16] It was first discovered by an Iraqi archaeological team in 1973 and first dug in 1974.[17] Subsequent digs have unearthed evidence of human habitation spanning the Ubeid period, Stone Age, Bronze Age, Iron Age, and Pre-Islamic period. During the latter period the settlement appears to have been at its most prosperous and the hills of the area were entirely covered with dozens of buildings and thousands of stone-built tombs. Some 500 of these tombs have been excavated,[17] with grave goods discovered including drinking sets, Roman glass, weaponry, pottery, jewelry and ivory objects.[18] It is thought some 20,000 tombs are on the site in all.[19] Similarly, the necropolis of Jebel Buhais spans a remarkable period, with burials evident as far back as the fifth millennium BCE,[20] while Mleiha also represents human settlement dating back some 7,000 years.[21]
 
Hafit period
Main article: Hafit period
 
Hafit period beehive tomb at Jebel Hafit
The Hafit period is marked by (and named for) the distinctive ‘beehive’ tombs first discovered around the area of Jebel Hafit in Al Ain. The period defines early Bronze Age human settlement in the United Arab Emirates and Oman in the period from 3,200 to 2,600 BC. Hafit period tombs and remains have also been located across the UAE and Oman in sites such as Bidaa bint Saud,[22] Jebel Buhais and Buraimi[23] in the UAE and Bat, Al-Khutm and Al-Ayn in Oman.
 
The first find of Hafit era tombs is attributed to the Danish archaeologist P.V. Glob of the Moesgaard Museum (who also investigated Umm Al Nar) in 1959, and the first of many excavations of these took place a few years later.[2] uncovering the remains of some 317 circular stone tombs and settlements from the Hafit period, as well as wells and partially underground falaj irrigation systems, and mud brick constructions intended for a range of defensive, domestic and economic purposes. The Al Ain Oasis, in particular, provides evidence of construction and water management enabling the early development of agriculture for five millennia, up until the present day.[24]
 
Pottery finds at Hafit period sites demonstrate trading links to Mesopotamia, contiguous to the Jemdat Nasr period (3100–2900 BC).[2] Evidence of trading links with Mesopotamia are also found in the subsequent Umm Al Nar and Wadi Suq periods of UAE history.[25]
 
Umm Al Nar period
Main article: Umm al-Nar culture
 
Umm Al Nar period terracotta bottle on display at the Louvre, Abu Dhabi.
The Bronze Age Umm Al Nar period spans the period 2600–2000 BCE. The name is derived from the first excavations which took place at Umm Al Nar, an island on the coast of Abu Dhabi, in 1959. The distinctive circular tombs of the Umm Al Nar period distinguish it from the preceding Hafit period, together with finds of distinctive black on red decorated pottery and jewellery made with gems such as carnelian, sourced from the Indus Valley.[26]
 
Seven tombs from a total of fifty and three areas at the ruins of the ancient settlement were examined by the Danish archaeologists in the 1959 season. During their first visit they identified a few exposed shaped stones fitted together at some of the stone mounds. The following year, the first excavations started at one of the mounds on the plateau, now called Tomb I. Two more seasons (1960 and 1961) involved digging more tombs, while the last three seasons (1962–63, 1964 and 1965) were allocated to examining the settlement.[27]
 
The Danish excavations at Umm Al Nar halted in 1965 but work resumed in 1975 by an archaeological team from Iraq. During the Iraqi excavations which lasted one season, five tombs were excavated and a small section of the village was examined. Between 1970 and 1972 an Iraqi restoration team headed by Shah Al Siwani, former member of the Antiquities Director in Baghdad, restored and/or reconstructed the Danish excavated tombs.[27]
 
 
Umm Al Nar tomb at Mleiha
At Al Sufouh Archaeological Site in Dubai, archaeological excavation between 1994 and 1995, revealing an Umm Al Nar type circular tomb dating between 2500 and 2000 B.C. Dubai Municipality and the Sanisera Archaeology Institute conducted excavations at the site of Al Ashoosh between November 2015 and May 2016. The site was discovered during two seasons of survey in 2002–2003 following the discovery of the nearby Iron Age metallurgical centre Saruq Al Hadid, and is located 8 km from that site.[28]
 
Surveys in the area by Dubai Municipality and the Department of Antiquities of Jordan identified 33 archaeological sites ranging in date from prehistory to the late Islamic period. In 2006–2007, more-detailed archaeological investigations of the area of Al-Ashoosh were conducted, including survey, excavation and geological sampling.[29]
 
At Tell Abraq, settlements associated with the start of the Umm Al Nar culture began c. 2500 BC. Finds at Shimal and Ed Dur also point to a transitional period between the Umm Al Nar and following Wadi Suq periods. The excavations at Shimal, principally those of the mid-1980s by a team from the University of Göttingen in Germany, are significant as they provided early evidence of the ‘Wadi Suq’ period, including finds of pottery, soft-stone vessels, bronze and copper weapons and beads which came to be regarded as typical of the period c. 2000–1300 BC in the UAE.[30]
 
Wadi Suq period
Main article: Wadi Suq culture
 
Wadi Suq burial at Shimal, Ras Al Khaimah
The Wadi Suq culture flourished in the period from 2,000 to 1,300 BCE. It takes its name from a wadi, or waterway, East of Sohar in Oman. Rather than a seismic cultural shift, a gradual change in human society which is centred around more sophisticated approaches to animal husbandry, particularly the domestication of the camel,[31] as well as changes in the surrounding trade and social environments, took place between the Umm Al Nar and Wadi Suq periods. The transition between Umm Al Nar and Wadi Suq is thought to have taken some 200 years and more, with finds at the important Wadi Suq site of Tell Abraq in modern Umm Al Quwain showing evidence of the continuity of Umm al-Nar burials.[31] At Qattara Oasis in Al Ain, the Wadi Suq communal tomb is thought to have been constructed from stones recovered from previous Umm Al Nar burials.[32]
 
Evidence of increased mobility among the population points to a gradual change in human habits rather than sudden change[33] and important Wadi Suq era sites such as Tell Abraq, Ed Dur, Seih Al Harf, Shimal and Kalba show an increasing sophistication in copper and bronze ware as well as trade links both east to the Indus Valley and west to Mesopotamia.[34]
 
Changes in two important trading partners also took place during this period, with the Mesopotamian city of Ur falling to Elam in 2,000 BC and the decline of the Indus Valley Harappan Culture in 1,800 BC. The abandonment of the port of Umm Al Nar took place at around this time.[35]
 
 
Wadi Suq burial at Jebel Buhais
The Wadi Suq site at Seih Al Harf in Ras Al Khaimah was first excavated by a team from the University of Durham, led by Derek Kennet, in the spring of 2013. The site comprises a series of 50 burial sites, of which two were directly threatened by road development, an 18-metre horseshoe shaped and a W-shaped tomb. Both were collective graves. Ten other excavated features were also impacted by the road development.[36] Although the site was seen to be threatened by the development of the northern extension of the arterial Emirates Road (E611), with proposals tabled to amend the road development to avoid damage to the site,[36] the road project went ahead.[37]
 
A number of Wadi Suq and Iron Age discoveries were made in the mountain village of Bithnah in Fujairah, first excavated by the Swiss-Liechtenstein Foundation for Archaeological Research Abroad (SLFA) between 1987 and 1991. Presided over by Prince Hans-Adam II of Liechtenstein, and directed in the field by Pierre Corboud, the SLFA team conducted several seasons of survey in the mountainous inland area of Fujairah, including the excavations at Bithnah, where a communal grave site was uncovered as well as a number of Iron Age finds.[38] There have also been excavations by teams from the University of Geneva and French National Research Centre. Significant Iron Age finds have been made throughout the area, including a number of petroglyphs.[39]
 
Iron Age
Main article: Iron Age in the United Arab Emirates
From 1,200 BC to the advent of Islam in Eastern Arabia, through three distinctive Iron Ages (Iron Age 1, 1200–1000 BC; Iron Age II, 1000–600 BC and Iron Age III 600–300 BC) and the Hellenistic Mleiha period (300 BC onward), the area was variously occupied by Archaemenid and other forces and saw the construction of fortified settlements and extensive husbandry thanks to the development of the falaj irrigation system (also called qanat). Early finds of aflaj, particularly those around the desert city of Al Ain, have been cited as the earliest evidence of the construction of these waterways.[40] It is thought nearby Bidaa bint Saud became an important site during the Iron Age, both as a caravan stop and as a settled community of farmers that used the falaj irrigation system there.[41] Two of these irrigation passages have been partly excavated at Bidaa bin Saud, with a number of sections remaining in reasonable condition. In one of the excavations, a number of sandstone-lined shaft holes were discovered, as well as a stepped underground access point and a large open cistern. Evidence of formerly irrigated land has also been found at the site.[42]
 
 
Snake decoration on a pot from Rumailah
Important Iron Age centres in the UAE have rendered an unusual richness in finds to archaeologists, particularly the spectacular metallurgical centre of Saruq Al Hadid in what is today Dubai. Other important Iron Age settlements in the country include Al Thuqeibah, Madam, Bidaa bint Saud, Ed-Dur and Tell Abraq.[43][44][45][46]
 
Iron Age burials at Jebel Buhais, particularly the group of graves defined as BHS 85, are thought to be linked to the nearby Iron Age settlement site of Al Thuqeibah.[47] The site was originally excavated by teams from the Autonomous University of Madrid in the mid-1990s. Thuqeibah has been dated from the Iron Age II and III periods (1100–400 BC). A settlement consisting of a number of houses and a well, it has been associated with a nearby Iron Age falaj system,[48] thought to date from the Iron Age II era.[49] 1st Millennium aflaj have also been unearthed at nearby Al Madam.[50]
 
 
Iron Age dagger from Qattara
The site of Rumailah, in Al Ain, like many in the UAE spans a wide period with finds dating back to the Umm Al Nar period, but shows a flourishing during the Iron Age. Finds at Rumailah include distinctive pottery adorned with snake patterns, similar to finds at Qusais, Masafi and the major Iron and Bronze Ages; metallurgical production centre at Saruq Al Hadid, as well as chlorite vessels decorated with turtles alternating with trees, similar to finds from Qidfa’ in Fujairah, Qusais in Dubai and Al-Hajar in Bahrain. A number of Iron Age swords and axe-heads, as well as distinctive seal moulds, were also recovered from the site. A number of bronze arrowheads were also found at the site. The Iron Age buildings found at Rumailah are typical of those found in the region, at Iron Age I and II sites such as Al Thuqeibah and Muweilah, with a number of row dwellings, although lacking the perimeter walls found at Thuqeibah.[51] A columned hall at Rumailah provides a further link to Muweilah, while a number of pyramidal seals found at Rumailah find an echo with similar objects discovered at Bidaa bint Saud.[52]
 
One of the most significant Iron Age sites in the UAE is Muweilah, located in the Sharjah suburb of Al Jurainah, near Sharjah University City. A large, fortified settlement thought to have been occupied during the Iron Age II period (1100–600BC), the site has been explored by archaeologists since an Australian expedition started work there in 1994 after the discovery of pottery shards by a local resident. It has yielded the oldest known example of writing found to date in the UAE, a pottery shard with an inscription, thought to be Sabean, with the letters ‘bml’.[53]
 
Saruq Al Hadid
Main article: Saruq Al Hadid
The Saruq Al Hadid site in the desert south of Dubai was a centre of constant human habitation, trade and metallurgy from the Umm Al Nar period (2600–2000 BCE) to 1,000 BCE, when it was a major location for smelting bronze, copper and Iron.[54] Arguably its most important period of flourishing was as a metallurgical centre in the Iron Age II period (1100–600 BCE). One of the many thousands of finds to be documented at the site was an ornate gold ring, which became the inspiration for Dubai’s Expo 2020 logo.[55]
 
 
Gold jewelry from Saruq Al Hadid
Some of the many enigmas surrounding the site are its location far from sources of water, ore or firewood, all critical elements to a metallurgical centre. An abundance of pottery and metal artifacts have given rise to speculation of possibly identifying the site as a centre of snake worship. In all, over 12,000 unique objects have been unearthed at the site.[56] A number of key finds are on public display at Dubai’s Saruq Al Hadid Archaeology Museum in Al Shindagha, housed in a traditional barjeel (wind tower) building constructed in 1928 by Sheikh Juma bin Maktoum Al Maktoum.[57]
 
Post Islamic finds
Archaeologists have worked on post-Islamic era sites across the UAE, particularly in Ras Al Khaimah (the coastal settlement of Julphar) and the East Coast. On the East Coast, in Fujairah, the village of Bidayah has been the focus of a number of explorations of its mosque and the remains of a Portuguese fort, discovered in the village by a team of Australian archaeologists. The fort, originally called ‘Libidia’, was identified from a 16th-century map. Its walls were constructed using rock recovered from a nearby tower dated back to the third millennium BCE.[58] These walls, some 60 metres in length, are joined in a square with towers on each corner and stand today at a height of up to a meter. Finds at the site of the fort include locally made pottery dating back to the 17th and 18th centuries and charcoal samples unearthed were carbon dated to 1450–1600, within the context of the Portuguese presence in the Gulf.[59]
 
The Bidayah mosque’s date of construction is uncertain[60] and because the mud and stone built structure uses no wood, radiocarbon dating is not possible. It is estimated to date to the 15th century,[61] however some much earlier estimates have been proposed.[62] The site was investigated by the archaeological center of Fujairah in co-operation with the University of Sydney from 1997–98.[62] and Fujairah Archaeology and Heritage Department came up with the conclusion that the mosque was believed to be built in 1446 AD, along with the two watch towers overlooking the mosque and the village.[60]


United Arab Emirates

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a country in the eastern part of the Arabian Peninsula located on the southeastern coast of the Persian Gulf and the northwestern coast of the Gulf of Oman. The UAE consists of seven emirates and was founded on 2 December 1971 as a federation. Six of the seven emirates (Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain and Fujairah) combined on that date. The seventh, Ras al Khaimah, joined the federation on 10 February 1972. The seven sheikdoms were formerly known as the Trucial States, in reference to the treaty relations established with the British in the 19th Century.
 
Artifacts uncovered in the UAE show a history of human habitation and transmigration spanning back 125,000 years.[1] The area was previously home to the Magan people[2] known to the Sumerians, who traded with both coastal towns and bronze miners and smelters from the interior. A rich history of trade with the Harappan culture of the Indus Valley is also evidenced by finds of jewellery and other items and there is also extensive early evidence of trade with Afghanistan[3] and Bactria[4] as well as the Levant.[5]
 
Through the three defined Iron Ages and the subsequent Hellenistic Mlieiha period, the area remained an important coastal trading entrepôt. As a result of the Ridda Wars, the area became Islamised in the 7th Century. Small trading ports developed alongside inland oases such as Liwa, Al Ain and Dhaid and tribal bedouin society co-existed with settled populations in the coastal areas.
 
A number of incursions and bloody battles took place along the coast when the Portuguese, under Afonso de Albuquerque, invaded the area. Conflicts between the maritime communities of the Trucial Coast and the British led to the sacking of Ras Al Khaimah by British forces in 1809 and again in 1819, which resulted in the first of a number of British treaties with the Trucial Rulers in 1820. These treaties, including the Treaty of Perpetual Maritime Peace, signed in 1853, led to peace and prosperity along the coast and supported a lively trade in high quality natural pearls which lasted until the 1930s, when the pearl trade collapsed, leading to significant hardship among the coastal communities. A further treaty of 1892 devolved external relations to the British in return for protectorate status.
 
A British decision, taken in early 1968, to withdraw from its involvement in the Trucial States, led to the decision to found a Federation. This was agreed between two of the most influential Trucial Rulers, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan of Abu Dhabi and Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum of Dubai. The two invited other Trucial Rulers to join the Federation. At one stage it seemed likely Bahrain and Qatar would also join the Union, but both eventually decided on independence.
 
Today, the UAE is a modern, oil exporting country with a highly diversified economy, with Dubai in particular developing into a global hub for tourism, retail, and finance,[6] home to the world’s tallest building, and largest man-made seaport.
 
 
Contents
1 Prehistory
1.1 Glacial period
1.2 Hafit period
2 Umm al-Nar and Wadi Suq Cultures
3 Iron Age
4 Advent of Islam and the Middle Ages
5 The rise and fall of the pearling industry
5.1 Western coast
5.2 Northern and Persian coast
5.3 Pearling culture
5.4 Decline of the pearling industry
6 Trucial States
6.1 General Maritime Treaty
6.2 Perpetual Maritime Peace
6.3 Exclusive Agreement
7 Recognition of the emirates
8 The beginning of the oil era
9 Buraimi dispute
10 Sheikh Zayed and the Union
11 Independence
11.1 Federation of Emirates
11.2 1971–1972
11.3 1973–2003
11.4 2004–2008
11.5 2011–Present
12 See also
13 References
14 External links
Prehistory
 
A Hafit era ‘beehive’ tomb at Mezyad[7][8] – Jebel Hafeet Desert Park,[9] Al Ain, Eastern Region of Abu Dhabi
In 2011 primitive hand-axes, as well as several kinds of scrapers and perforators, were excavated at the Jebel Faya archaeological site in the United Arab Emirates. These tools resemble the types used by early modern humans in East Africa. Through the technique of thermoluminescence dating the artefacts were placed at 125,000 years old. This is the earliest evidence of modern humans found anywhere outside Africa and implies modern humans left Africa much earlier than previously thought.[1] The site of these discoveries has been preserved alongside finds of later cultures, including tombs and other finds from the Umm Al Nar, Wadi Suq and Islamic periods, at Sharjah’s Mleiha Archaeological Centre.
 
Glacial period
Main article: Glacial period
During the glacial maximum period, 68000 to 8000 BCE, Eastern Arabia is thought to have been uninhabitable. Finds from the stone age Arabian Bifacial and Ubaid cultures (including stone arrow and axe heads as well as Ubaid pottery) show human habitation in the area from 5000 to 3100 BCE.[citation needed] Within the area of Baynunah in the western region of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, a camel-slaughter site dating to about 6,000 years ago was discovered.[8]
 
Hafit period
Main article: Hafit period
The Hafit period followed, named after extensive finds of burials of distinctive beehive shaped tombs in the mountainous area of Jebel Hafeet in the region of Tawam, which includes Al Ain.[10] Continued links to Mesopotamia are evidenced by finds of Jemdet Nasr pottery. The Hafit period spanned from 3200 to 2600 BCE.
 
Umm al-Nar and Wadi Suq Cultures
Main articles: Umm al-Nar Culture and Wadi Suq culture
Umm al-Nar (also known as Umm an-Nar) was a bronze age culture variously defined by archaeologists as existing around 2600 to 2000 BCE in the area of the modern-day UAE and Oman. The etymology derives from the island of the same name which lies adjacent to Abu Dhabi.[11][12] The key site is well protected, but its location between a refinery and a sensitive military area means public access is currently restricted. The UAE authorities are working to improve public access to the site, and plan to make this part of the Abu Dhabi cultural locations. One element of the Umm al-Nar culture is circular tombs typically characterized by well fitted stones in the outer wall and multiple human remains within.[13]
 
 
Bronze Age Umm al-Nar tomb at Mleiha, Emirate of Sharjah
The Umm al-Nar culture covers some six centuries (2600-2000 BCE), and includes further extensive evidence both of trade with the Sumerian and Akkadian kingdoms as well as with the Indus Valley. The increasing sophistication of the Umm al-Nar people included the domestication of animals.[14]
 
It was followed by the Wadi Suq Culture, which dominated the region from 2000 to 1300 BC. Key archaeological sites pointing to major trading cities extant during both periods exist on both the Western and Eastern coasts of the UAE and in Oman, including Dalma, Umm Al Nar, Sufouh, Ed Dur, Tell Abraq and Kalba. The burial sites at both Shimal and Seih Al Harf in Ras Al Khaimah show evidence of transitional Umm Al Nar to Wadi Suq burials.
 
The domestication of camels and other animals took place during the Wadi Suq era (2000-1300 BCE),[15] leading to increased inland settlement and the cultivation of diverse crops, including the date palm. Increasingly sophisticated metallurgy, pottery and stone carving led to more sophisticated weaponry and other implements even as evidence of strong trading links with the Indus Valley and Mesopotamia dwindled.
 
Iron Age
 
Saruq Al Hadid archaeological site
Main article: Iron Age in the United Arab Emirates
From 1,200 BC to the advent of Islam in Eastern Arabia, through three distinctive Iron Ages (Iron Age 1, 1200-1000 BC; Iron Age II, 1000-600 BC and Iron Age III 600-300 BC) and the Hellenistic Mleiha period (300 BC onward), the area was variously occupied by Archaemenid and other forces and saw the construction of fortified settlements and extensive husbandry thanks to the development of the falaj irrigation system. Early finds of aflaj, particularly those around the desert city of Al Ain, have been cited as the earliest evidence of the construction of these waterways.[16] Important Iron Age centres in the UAE have rendered an unusual richness in finds to archaeologists, particularly the spectacular metallurgical centre of Saruq Al Hadid in what is today Dubai. Other important Iron Age settlements in the country include Al Thuqeibah, Bidaa bint Saud, Ed-Dur and Tell Abraq.

 

Umm Al Nar

Umm Al Nar (lit. ‘Mother of the Fire’) is the name given to a Bronze age culture that existed around 2600-2000 BCE in the area of modern-day United Arab Emirates and Northern Oman. The etymology derives from the island of the same name which lies adjacent to Abu Dhabi city and which provided early evidence and finds attributed to the period.
The key site is well protected, but its location between a refinery and a sensitive military area means public access is currently restricted. The UAE authorities are working to improve public access to the site, and plan to make this an Abu Dhabi cultural location.
One element of the Umm Al Nar culture is circular tombs typically characterized by well fitted stones in the outer wall and multiple human remains within. The tombs are frequently associated with towers, many of which were built around water sources.
The Umm Al Nar culture covers around five or six centuries (2600-2000 BCE). The name is derived from Umm Al Nar, a small island located on the southeast of the much larger island Abu Dhabi. It is one of 200 islands that dominate the coast of Abu Dhabi.
At Al Sufouh Archaeological Site in Dubai, archaeological excavation between 1994 and 1995 revealed an Umm Al Nar type circular tomb dating between 2500 and 2000 BC. An Umm Al Nar tomb is at the centre of the Mleiha Archaeological Centre in Sharjah.

 
Dilmun Burial Mounds in Bahrain also feature Umm Al Nar Culture remains.
 
At Tell Abraq, settlements associated with the start of the Umm Al Nar Culture began c. 2500 BCE.
 
Occupation phases
 
Decorated stone cup from the original Umm Al Nar discovery, Abu Dhabi. Cups similar to these have been found at other Umm Al Nar era sites around the UAE. On display at the Louvre Abu Dhabi
The Ubaid period (5,000-3,800 BCE) followed the neolithic Arabian bifacial era. Pottery vessels of the period already show contact with Mesopotamia.[3]
 
The Hafit period followed the Ubaid period. During the Hafit period (3200 – 2600 BCE) burial cairns with the appearance of a beehive appeared, consisting of a small chamber for one to two burials.
 
The distinctive circular tombs of the Umm Al Nar period (2,600-2,000 BCE) distinguish it from the preceding Hafit period, together with finds of distinctive black on red decorated pottery and jewellery made with gems such as carnelian, sourced from the Indus Valley.
 
A number of important Umm Al Nar sites in the UAE such as Hili, Badiyah, Tell Abraq and Kalba feature large, towers presumably defensive in purpose. At Tell Abraq, this fortification is 40 metres in diameter, but most are between 16 and 25 metres.[5] These fortifications typically are built around a well, presumably to protect important water resources.
 
During this period, the first Sumerian mentions of a land of Magan (Akkadian Makkan) are made, as well as references to ‘the Lords of Magan’. Sumerian sources also point to ‘Tilmun’ (accepted today as modern Bahrain) and Meluhha (thought to refer to the Indus Valley).[5] Akkadian campaigns against Magan took place in the twenty-third century, again possibly explaining the need for fortifications, and both Manishtusu and Naram-Sin and Manishtusu, in particular, wrote of campaigning against ’32 lords of Magan’.[5]
 
Magan was famed for its shipbuilding and its maritime capabilities. King Sargon of Agade (2,371-2,316 BCE) boasted that his ports were home to boats from Tilmun, Magan and Meluhha. His successor, Naram-Sin, not only conquered Magan, but honoured the Magan King Manium by naming the city of Manium-Ki in Mesopotamia after him. Trade between the Indus Valley and Sumer took place through Magan, although that trade appears to have been interrupted, as Ur-Nammu (2,113-2,096 BCE) laid claim to having ‘brought back the ships of Magan’.[6]
 
 
Terracotta Ubaid Ware bottle from the original Umm Al Nar discovery in Abu Dhabi. The bottle dates back to 2,000-2,500 BCE. On display at the Louvre Abu Dhabi
Archaeological finds dating from this time show trade not only with the Indus Valley and Sumer, but also with Iran and Bactria.[7] They have also revealed what is thought to be the oldest case on record of poliomyelitis, with the distinctive signs of the disease found in the skeleton of a woman from Tell Abraq.[7]
 
Domestic manufactures in the late third millennium included soft-stone vessels, decorated with dotted circles. These, in the shapes of beakers, bowls and compartmentalised boxes, are distinctive.[8]
 
The trade with Mesopotamia collapsed in and around 2,000 BCE, with a series of disasters including the Aryan invasion of the Indus Valley,[9] the fall of the Mesopotamian city of Ur to Elam in 2,000 BC and the decline of the Indus Valley Harappan Culture in 1800 BC. The abandonment of the port of Umm Al Nar took place at around this time.[10]
 
There is some dispute as to the exact cause of the end of the trading era of the Umm Al Nar period and the inwardly focused domestication of the Wadi Suq period, but archaeologists are generally agreed that the domestication of the camel at around this time led to nomadism and something of a ‘Dark Age’ in the area. Modern consensus is that the transition from the Umm Al Nar to the Wadi Suq period was evolutionary and not revolutionary.[11][12]
 
After Umm Al Nar, the Wadi Suq culture followed (2,000-1,300 BCE), a period which saw more inland settlement, increasingly sophisticated metallurgy and the domestication of the camel.
 
The poorly represented last phase of the Bronze Age (1,600-1,300 BCE) has only been vaguely identified in a small number of settlements. This last phase of the Bronze Age was followed by a boom when the underground irrigation system (the qanāt (Persian: قَنات‎), here called falaj (Arabic: فَـلَـج‎)) was introduced during the Iron Age (1300-300 BCE) by local communities.[13].[12]
Meliha Archaeological Centre
Meliha Archaeological Centre is a visitor centre and exhibition based around the history and archaeology of the areas surrounding the village of Mleiha in Sharjah, the United Arab Emirates.
Built around a preserved Umm Al Nar era tomb, the centre details the excavations and discoveries made over the past 40 years at Mleiha and surrounding areas (including Al Thuqeibah, Jebel Faya, Al Madam and Jebel Buhais), particularly the important Faya North East find, which provides evidence that ‘anatomically modern humans’ were in the Mleiha area between 130,000 and 120,000 years ago.
These finds point to the spread of humanity from Africa across the Red Sea to the Persian Gulf region, and onward to populate the world through Iran, India, Europe and Asia.
The widespread archaeological evidence unearthed throughout the Mleiha area dates back as far as the Palaeolithic period, some 130,000 years ago.[5] This would place the habitation of the area firmly within the time when it is thought anatomically modern human communities first left Africa and started to expand globally.
Later, as the last Ice Age gave way warmer climates, graveyards and adjacent settlements have been found which point to Neolithic communities who lived there from 11,000 years ago, with finds of tools at the location consistent with the Neolithic Ubaid or Arabian Bifacial tradition of 5,000-3,100 BCE. Civilization evolved during the succeeding Bronze Age from 3,000 BCE onwards, with elaborate communal tombs found at Mleiha, including the Umm Al Nar tomb, a feature is notable by its absence at the nearby necropolis of Jebel Buhais which otherwise represents uninterrupted evidence[6] of human burial throughout the known periods of human settlement in the area.[7]
The centuries that followed witnessed the introduction of the underground falaj irrigation system and the cultivation of dates and other cereal crops.

Ed-Dur

Ed-Dur or Ed-Dour (Arabic: ٱلدُّوْر‎, romanized: Ad-Dūr, lit. ‘The Houses’)[1][2] is an Ancient Near Eastern City located in Umm Al Quwain, in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).[3] One of the largest archaeological sites in the emirates,[4] comprising an area of some 5 km2 (1.9 sq mi), the coastal settlement overlooks Al-Beidha Lake. One of the most important archaeological finds in the UAE, It has been dubbed ‘one of the most significant lost cities of Arabia’.[5]
 
 
Contents
1 Discovery
2 Graeco-Roman links
3 Fort
4 Sun Temple
5 See also
6 References
7 External links
Discovery
Ed-Dur was first discovered by an Iraqi archaeological team in 1973, and dug in 1974.[4] Subsequent digs have unearthed evidence of human habitation spanning the Ubeid period, Stone Age, Bronze Age, Iron Age, and Pre-Islamic period. During the latter period, the settlement appears to have been at its most prosperous, and the hills of the area were entirely covered with dozens of buildings and thousands of stone-built tombs. Some 500 of these tombs have been excavated,[4] with grave goods discovered including drinking sets, Roman glass, weaponry, pottery, jewelry and ivory objects.[6] It is thought some 20,000 tombs are on the site in all.[7] Towards the end of March 2019, 15 tombs, bronze statues, settlement remains, jewellery and pottery, dating back to the 1st century CE, were unearthed here.[2][8]
 
Of the many discoveries made at the site, the use of alabaster window panes is significant, the first recorded such use in the Arabian Peninsula.[9] Ceramic finds at the site are mostly glazed ware, likely of Parthian origin and imported from southern Mesopotamia or south-western Iran. The more elaborate burials at Ed-Dur are similar to those found at Assur, in northern Mesopotamia – which are Parthian. Black-on-orange painted ‘Namord ware’ is indicative of trading links across the Strait of Hormuz to Persia and Baluchistan, while Indian red polished ware also points to links east.[9]
 
Graeco-Roman links
 
A Tetra Drachma of the type found in large quantities at Ed-Dur. Finds of coin moulds in Mleiha matching these coins show they were minted there, between 100-200 CE.
It is thought that Ed-Dur is the site of Omana, mentioned by both Pliny and Strabo as an important town in the Lower Gulf.[9] The city is referred to in the anonymous Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, a documentation of trade between Alexandria and India, and the Periplus indicates that Omana was the most important port in the Gulf during the first century CE and was linked with the port of Apologos (al-Ubulla) at the head of the Gulf, which has been linked to Basra. This trade down the Gulf, via camel trains inland from the Gulf to Syria would explain the richness of finds of Roman materials at Ed-Dur.[10] Contemporary Greek manuscripts have given the exports from Ed-Dur as ‘pearls, purple dye, clothing, wine, gold and slaves, and a great quantity of dates’.[5]
 
The site has been associated with the inland historical development of Mileiha in the Emirate of Sharjah, with which it is thought to have had strong ties.[11] Similarities in burial rituals — of laying animals to rest with their owners — and vessels, decorations and small bronze snake figures have also been unearthed.[6] Camels buried with their heads reversed are a common feature of both the animal burials at Ed-Dur and inland Mleiha.[12]
 
Ed-Dur had a rich trading past, with artefacts found at the site showing links both with Mesopotamia and India.[3] Macedonian style coinage unearthed at Ed-Dur dates back to Alexander the Great,[4] while hundreds of coins have been found featuring a head of Heracles and a seated Zeus on the obverse, and bearing the name of Abi’el in Aramaic. These coins match coin moulds found at Mleiha.[13] Their dating to 100 AD, when Ed-Dur was in its prime, is complicated by similar coins found in Bahrain in a hoard dated to 200 BC. It is thought that Abi’el lived on in coinage much as Alexander did on coins minted centuries after his death.[13]
 
Fort
First unearthed by the Iraqi archaeological team in 1973, the fort at Ed-Dur was undoubtedly the focus of political power. Four walls some 20 metres (66 feet) in length connect four towers, each some 4 metres (13 feet) in diameter. The fort was constructed mainly from beach rock. South of the fort is the Sun Temple.[14]
 
Sun Temple
One of the reasons for Ed-Dur’s importance is the discovery of a temple to the Sun God, which has been compared to the Great Temple of Hetra in Iraq, also known as the “Temple of the Sun”, dating back to the same period.[3] The temple was originally by a Belgian expedition in 1987, but has been damaged since by erosion. In early 2016 a project was undertaken to restore the temple to its 1980s state.[15] A rectangular building, its main gate is located to the east and is preceded by columns mounted with Corinthian capitals. Two gates within the temple lead respectively to the main building and its courtyard. The temple differs from the Hetra Temple in the simplicity of its architecture and the geometric decorations to its external plaster. A pair of stone eagles, uncovered during an Emirati dig in 2015, are thought to have originally decorated the temple entrance. A simple atone altar that was probably used for offering or sacrifice was found inside the temple .[4]
 
A rectangular basin, located in the north-east corner of the building, sits on a broad base with a nine-line inscription in Aramaic, of which only a sole word can now be deciphered, “Shamash”, a reference to Shams, or the Sun deity.[7] A fire pit, some 2.7 m (8.9 ft) across and 1 m (3.3 ft) deep, has led to speculation of the use of fire in religious ritual.[3]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Ancient_Settlements_in_the_UAE
Hafit period

The Hafit period defines early Bronze Age human settlement in the United Arab Emirates and Oman in the period from 3200 to 2600 BC. It is named after the distinctive beehive burials first found on Jebel Hafit, an outlier of Al Hajar Mountains[4][5] in the region of Tawam, which is composed of the UAE city of Al Ain and the adjacent Omani town of Al-Buraimi, and borders the Rub Al Khali desert.[6] Hafit period tombs and remains have also been located across the UAE and Oman in sites such as Bidaa bint Saud,[7] Jebel Al-Buhais and Buraimi.[8]
 
Discoveries
 
An unrestored Hafit period beehive tomb at Jebel Hafeet in the region of Al-Ain, on the border with Oman. Most of the hundreds of tombs to be found at the Eastern foothills of the mountain have collapsed.
The first find of Hafit era tombs is attributed to the Danish archaeologist PV Glob in 1959, and the first of many excavations of these took place a few years later.[9]
 
Finds at Jebel Hafit include the remains of some 317 circular stone tombs and settlements from the Hafit period, as well as wells and partially underground Falaj irrigation systems, as well as mud brick constructions intended for a range of defensive, domestic and economic purposes. The Al Ain Oasis, in particular, provides evidence of construction and water management enabling the early development of agriculture for five millennia, up until the present day.[10]
 
Pottery finds at Hafit period sites demonstrate trading links to Mesopotamia, contiguous to the Jemdat Nasr period (3100 – 2900 BC).[9] Evidence of trading links with Mesopotamia are also found in the subsequent Umm Al Nar and Wadi Suq periods of UAE history.
 
In the region of Al-Ain, near Mezyad Fort and Jebel Hafeet on the border with Oman,[11] the Jebel Hafeet Desert Park contains the original necropolis of Hafit Graves which led to the naming of this period in human history in the emirates. A series of ridges leading from the main part of Jebel Hafit toward Al Ain each contain groups of Hafit tombs.[7]


Jebel Buhais

Jebel Buhais or Jebel Al-Buhais (Arabic: جَبَل بُحَيْص \ جَبَل ٱلْبُحَيْص‎, romanized: Jabal Buḥayṣ / Jabal Al-Buḥayṣ) is a geological feature, an extensive rocky outcrop, as well as an archaeological site located near Madam in the central region[1][2] of the Emirate of Sharjah, the UAE, about 48 kilometres (30 miles) southeast of the city of Sharjah.[3] The area contains an extensive necropolis, consisting of burial sites spanning the Stone, Bronze, Iron and Hellenistic ages of human settlement in the UAE. Burials at Jebel Buhais (Jebel is Arabic for mountain) date back to the 5th Millennium BCE.[4][5] The site is located to the side of a limestone outcrop rising to some 340 metres (1,120 feet) above sea level and which runs almost contiguously from the town of Madam north to the town of Mleiha, itself an important archaeological site.
 
Jebel Buhais is the oldest radiometrically dated inland burial site in the UAE.[6] The area is protected, having been defined as a nature reserve.[7]
 
 
Contents
1 History and prehistory
1.1 Discovery
1.2 Stone Age
1.3 Post-Neolithic era
2 Geological park
3 See also
4 References
History and prehistory
See also: Archaeology of the United Arab Emirates, History of the United Arab Emirates, and List of Ancient Settlements in the UAE
Discovery
The site was first appreciated as being of potential significance by archaeologists from Iraq in 1973,[8] but extensive excavations did not take place until the late 1980s, with digs undertaken by the French mission to the Emirate of Sharjah and from the Autonomous University of Madrid through to the early 1990s. Following this early work, researchers from the Sharjah government’s Directorate of Antiquities discovered a camel entombed in a grave site, BHS 12, which led to a team from the University of Tübingen carrying out digs from 1995 onwards. The discovery and excavation of BHS 12 led to the discovery of the important BHS 18 site, which saw 10 digs from 1996-2005 uncovering a burial site which was to become ‘one of the key neolithic sites in Southern Arabia’.[9] The complete remains of some 600 individuals have been found at the site, with many thought yet to be found.[10] Of the many tombs and sites at Jebel Buhais, the clover-shaped Wadi Suq period tomb BHS 66 stands as a unique piece of funerary architecture in the UAE.[4][5]
 
 
One of many tombs scattered across the archaeological site
 
 
Many of the tombs found by archaeologists at Jebel Al-Buhais are now covered and fenced
 
 
Burial BHS 72 at Jebel Al-Buhais – many of the minor finds are unprotected and their identifying plaques have worn and are often hard if not impossible to read. Access to the area is difficult as there are no well defined roadways or tracks.
 
Stone Age
Dated to the late Stone Age, Neolithic finds at BHS 18 have been carbon-dated spanning some 1,000 years from 5,000 to 4,000 BCE, with burials at the site thought to be those of nomadic herders who travelled inland for the winter season.[10] Jebel Buhais is unique as an inland neolithic site in the UAE, all other sites discovered to date have been coastal, and the site has yielded no evidence of burials in the following millennium. This is thought to be consistent with changing patterns of human life as a result of climate change: a spring discovered at Jebel Buhais dried up at this stage, an event contemporaneous with similar discoveries pointing to increased aridity in the interior of Oman. Throughout Southern Arabia, evidence of human inland settlement in the 3rd millennium BCE is scant.[11]
 
Post-Neolithic era
Subsequent burials at Jebel Buhais represent the early Bronze Age Hafit period (3200 – 2600 BCE), with many distinctive ‘beehive’ Hafit graves discovered. None, however, were found with human remains of that era. The subsequent era of human occupation, Umm Al Nar (2600-2000 BCE) is not represented at Jebel Buhais although there were Umm Al Nar period burials in nearby Mleiha. Iron Age burials, particularly the group of graves defined as BHS 85, are thought to be linked to the nearby Iron Age settlement site of Al Thuqeibah.[9]
 
Wadi Suq graves at Jebel Buhais include those found at BHS 8. A number of later burials, including some invasive later burials in older grave sites, are also evident at the site.
 
Geological park
Buhais Geology Park
Wikimedia | © OpenStreetMap
Location Sharjah, the U.A.E.
Coordinates 25°1′14″N 55°47′53″E
On Monday the 21st of January, 2020, Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al-Qasimi, Ruler of Sharjah, inaugurated the Buhais Geology Park. The park is meant to showcase to visitors the archaeological importance of Jebel Buhais and surrounding areas in the Emirate, using the fossils and geological features contained there, which date back at least 93 million years to the Cretaceous era.[1][2][12]


Kalba

Kalba (Arabic: كَلْبَاء‎, romanized: Kalbāʾ) is a city in the Emirate of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). It is an exclave of Sharjah lying on the Gulf of Oman coast north of Oman. Khor Kalba (Kalba Creek), an important nature reserve and mangrove swamp, is located south of the town by the Omani border. The town was captured by the Portuguese Empire in the 16th century and was referred to as Ghallah.[2]
 
It was attacked and sacked by the Sultan of Muscat’s forces in March 1811 as part of the ongoing Omani campaign against the maritime forces of Al-Qasimi.[3] It was a Trucial State from 1936 to 1951, before being reincorporated into Sharjah.
 
Kalba Mangrove reserve is currently closed to the public and is being developed as an eco-tourism resort by the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq). A number of conservationists and ecologists have expressed concern regarding the project.[4]
 
 
Contents
1 History
1.1 Trucial state
2 City access
3 Rulers
4 Gallery
5 See also
6 References
7 External links
History
 
Kalba Fort
Shell middens dating back to the fourth millennium BCE have been found at Kalba, as well as extensive remains of Umm Al Nar era settlement.[5]
 
Kalba was still being referred to as Ghallah at the time of J. G. Lorimer’s 1906 survey of the Persian Gulf and Oman, when it consisted of some 300 areesh (date palm frond) houses, of Naqbiyin, Sharqiyin, Kunud and Abadilah tribes as well as a number of Baluchis and Persians.[6] It was home to ten boats trading with ports in the Persian Gulf and India.[7]
 
Majid bin Sultan bin Saqr Al Qasimi was granted the Shamaliyah region, including Kalba, as a fiefdom by his brother, Sheikh Salim bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Ruler of Sharjah. Kalba was subsequently ruled jointly by his two sons Hamad bin Majid and Ahmad bin Majid.
 
Hamad’s son Said Bin Hamad Al Qasimi succeeded him in 1902, at the time when the ruler of neighbouring Fujairah, Hamad bin Abdallah Al Sharqi, managed to establish independence. Said bin Hamad lived in Ajman, leaving the administration of Kalba in the hands of a slave named Barut.[8]
 
Trucial state
By the 1920s, he took up residency in Kalba again and in 1936 was recognised by the British as a Trucial Ruler as an incentive to grant landing rights to an emergency air-strip as a backup to the Imperial Airways runway and fort at Al-Mahatta in the city of Sharjah.[9]
 
In April 1937, the deposed Ruler of Sharjah, Khalid bin Ahmad Al Qasimi, married Aisha, the daughter of Sheikh Said bin Hamad Al Qasimi. Said bin Hamad died suddenly at the end of April 1937 while visiting Khor Fakkan. Said bin Hamad’s son, Hamad, was still a minor and so Aisha moved quickly to establish a regency, travelling to Kalba and organising the town’s defences. For many years Said bin Hamad had lived in Ajman and entrusted a slave by the name of Barut to manage Kalba on his behalf, and Aisha now arranged for Barut to once again take charge as Wali. She sent a message to Khalid bin Ahmad, who was in Ras Al Khaimah at the time.[10]
 
A period of intense political infighting and negotiation between the many involved parties now followed. In June 1937, the notable residents of Kalba selected the slave Barut as Regent for the 12-year-old Hamad, but this solution was not accepted by the British and Khalid bin Ahmad was selected as regent. Increasingly seen as an influential and unifying figure by the Bedouin and the townspeople of the East Coast, he ruled over Dhaid and Kalba (delegating his rule in Kalba to Barut and choosing himself to live in Dhaid and Heera) until 1950, when he was too old and infirm to take a further role in affairs. He died that year[11] and the rule of Kalba reverted to the direct administration of Sharjah. Although there are British records of an insurgency in 1952 this appears to have been settled.[12][13]
 
That notwithstanding, there were almost constant outbreaks of squabbling and disputes between Kalba and neighbouring Fujairah (itself only recognised as a Trucial State by the British in 1952) which broke out into open fighting over a land dispute after the UAE was founded in 1971 and, in 1972 the newly founded Union Defence Force was called in to take control of the fighting which, by the time the UDF moved in, had killed 22 and seriously injured a dozen more. The dispute was finally settled after mediation between Sheikh Rashid of Dubai and other Rulers and a statement announcing the settlement sent out on 17 July 1972.[14]
 
City access
Khor Kalba is accessible by three roads.
 
The first merges after Wadi Al Helou (Arabic: وَادِي ٱلْحلًو‎) tunnel with Maliha Road (Arabic: شارع مليحة‎) which finally leads to the Sharjah-Kalba Road (90 km (56 mi)) from Sharjah International Airport.[15] There is also the Fujairah-Kalba Road (8 km (5.0 mi)).
 
The Khor Kalba Road extends until the border with Oman, and is one of the exit–entry points between the UAE and Oman.[16]


Wadi Suq culture

The Wadi Suq culture defines human settlement in the United Arab Emirates and Oman in the period from 2,000 to 1,300 BCE. It takes its name from a wadi, or waterway, west of Sohar in Oman and follows on from the Umm al-Nar culture. Although archaeologists have traditionally tended to view the differences in human settlements and burials between the Umm Al Nar and Wadi Suq periods as the result of major external disruption (climate change, the collapse of trade or threat of war), contemporary opinion has moved towards a gradual change in human society which is centred around more sophisticated approaches to animal husbandry[1] as well as changes in the surrounding trade and social environments.
 
 
Contents
1 History
2 Burials
3 Artefacts
4 See also
5 References
History
See also: Al Ain § History and prehistory
 
Wadi Suq burial at Shimal, near Ras Al Khaimah
The transition between Umm Al Nar and Wadi Suq is thought to have taken some 200 years and more, with finds at the important Wadi Suq site of Tell Abraq in modern Umm Al Qawain showing evidence of the continuity of Umm al-Nar burials.[1] Evidence of increased mobility among the population points to a gradual change in human habits rather than sudden change[2] and important Wadi Suq era sites such as Tell Abraq, Ed Dur, Seih Al Harf, Shimal and Kalba show an increasing sophistication in copper and bronze ware as well as trade links both east to the Indus Valley and west to Mesopotamia.[3] Wadi Suq era pottery is also seen as more refined and distinctive, with finds of painted ware common,[4] and the development of soft-stone vessels.
 
Studies of human remains from the period do point to a process of aridification taking place over the centuries contiguous between the Umm Al Nar and Wadi Suq periods, but do not support a sudden or cataclysmic movement or societal change rather a gradual shift in culture.[5]
 
The Wadi Suq people not only domesticated camels, but there is evidence they also planted crops of wheat, barley and dates.[3] A gradual shift away from coastal to inland settlements took place through the period.[6]
 
Burials
Some of the most obvious evidence of the change in human habits and society following the Umm Al Nar period can be found in the distinctive burials of the Wadi Suq people, notably in Shimal in Ras Al Khaimah where over 250 burial sites are located. In some cases, cut stone from Umm Al Nar burials has been used to build Wadi Suq graves. Wadi Suq burials are long chambers entered from the side and many have been found to have been used for subsequent burials. Although Shimal has the most extensive Wadi Suq burials, grave sites are to be found throughout the UAE and Oman and vary from simple barrows to sophisticated structures.[7]
 
The notable Jebel Buhais burial ground, the oldest radiometrically dated burial site in the UAE[8], is an extensive necropolis, consisting of burial sites spanning the Stone, Iron, Bronze and Hellenistic ages of human settlement in the UAE. The widespread area of burials exhibits a number of important Wadi Suq tombs, including a unique clover-leaf shaped burial chamber, but has no evidence of Umm Al Nar era burials, although there are burials representing later eras, including the Hellenistic. The clover-shaped Wadi Suq period tomb at Jebel Buhais, BHS 66 stands as a unique piece of funerary architecture in the UAE.[9]
 
Artefacts
 
Wadi Suq electrum alloy plaque, found at Qattara Oasis.
Wadi Suq era weaponry shows a marked increase in sophistication, with an explosion in metallurgy taking place in the region. A number of tombs have been found with hundreds of weapons and other metal artefacts and long swords, bows and arrows became the predominant weapons. Long swords found at Qattara, Qidfa, Qusais and Bidaa bint Saud are double-edged and hilted. Light throwing spears also marked the weaponry of the time. Many of these weapons were cast in bronze.[10] One grave excavated in Shimal had no fewer than 18 fine bronze arrowheads.
 
Another explosive growth industry in the Wadi Suq era was the production of soft-stone vessels. While in the preceding Umm al-Nar era these were distinctively decorated with dotted circles, they now gained incised patterns of lines and are found in some profusion.[11]
 
The relative wealth and growing metallurgical sophistication of the Wadi Suq people is displayed by finds of jewellery, including gold and electrum plaques depicting back to back animals. Ongoing links with both Dilmun and the Indus Valley have been demonstrated.[12]


Seih Al Harf


Seih Al Harf is an archaeological site in Northern Ras Al Khaimah, in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), dating back to the Wadi Suq period (2000–1300 BCE).[1]
 
Discovery and excavation
The site was first discovered in the late 1980s by British archaeologists and was put under a preservation order by the ruler of Ras Al Khaimah in 2004 (His father, the late Shaikh Saqr Bin Mohammad Al Qasimi had previously, in 1999, called for all archaeological sites in the emirate to be preserved). Although the site was seen to be threatened by the development of the northern extension of the arterial Emirates Road (E611), with proposals tabled to amend the road development to avoid damage to the site,[2] the road project went ahead.[3]
 
Seih Al Harf was excavated by a team from the University of Durham, led by Derek Kennet, in the spring of 2013. The site comprises a series of 50 burial sites, of which two were directly threatened by the road development, an 18-metre horseshoe shaped and a W-shaped tomb. Both were collective graves. Ten other excavated features were also impacted by the road development.[4]
 
The 2013 dig excavated three monumental graves, six smaller collective tombs and a number of smaller burials. The three monumental tombs were all stone-built, corbelled structures and stand as some of the largest tombs from the Wadi Suq period found in Ras Al Khaimah. While most of the graves found were dated to late in this period, one of the tombs was identified as transitional from the earlier Umm Al Nar period (2600–2000 BCE).[5] The area around Seih Al Harf is rich in finds of Wadi Suq era burials, in particular the nearby Shimal site, which contains both Umm al-Nar and Wadi Suq graves.
 
Included in some 10,000 artifacts[2] removed from Seih Al Harf for research, the Durham team found a large variety of spearheads, arrowheads, razors, jewellery (including carnelian beads), blades, soft-stone and pottery vessels. One find included the skeleton of a woman found still wearing her bangles on her forearm.
Wadi Suq culture
The Wadi Suq culture defines human settlement in the United Arab Emirates and Oman in the period from 2,000 to 1,300 BCE. It takes its name from a wadi, or waterway, west of Sohar in Oman and follows on from the Umm al-Nar culture. Although archaeologists have traditionally tended to view the differences in human settlements and burials between the Umm Al Nar and Wadi Suq periods as the result of major external disruption (climate change, the collapse of trade or threat of war), contemporary opinion has moved towards a gradual change in human society which is centred around more sophisticated approaches to animal husbandry[1] as well as changes in the surrounding trade and social environments.
 
 
Contents
1 History
2 Burials
3 Artefacts
4 See also
5 References
History
See also: Al Ain § History and prehistory
 
Wadi Suq burial at Shimal, near Ras Al Khaimah
The transition between Umm Al Nar and Wadi Suq is thought to have taken some 200 years and more, with finds at the important Wadi Suq site of Tell Abraq in modern Umm Al Qawain showing evidence of the continuity of Umm al-Nar burials.[1] Evidence of increased mobility among the population points to a gradual change in human habits rather than sudden change[2] and important Wadi Suq era sites such as Tell Abraq, Ed Dur, Seih Al Harf, Shimal and Kalba show an increasing sophistication in copper and bronze ware as well as trade links both east to the Indus Valley and west to Mesopotamia.[3] Wadi Suq era pottery is also seen as more refined and distinctive, with finds of painted ware common,[4] and the development of soft-stone vessels.
 
Studies of human remains from the period do point to a process of aridification taking place over the centuries contiguous between the Umm Al Nar and Wadi Suq periods, but do not support a sudden or cataclysmic movement or societal change rather a gradual shift in culture.[5]
 
The Wadi Suq people not only domesticated camels, but there is evidence they also planted crops of wheat, barley and dates.[3] A gradual shift away from coastal to inland settlements took place through the period.[6]
 
Burials
Some of the most obvious evidence of the change in human habits and society following the Umm Al Nar period can be found in the distinctive burials of the Wadi Suq people, notably in Shimal in Ras Al Khaimah where over 250 burial sites are located. In some cases, cut stone from Umm Al Nar burials has been used to build Wadi Suq graves. Wadi Suq burials are long chambers entered from the side and many have been found to have been used for subsequent burials. Although Shimal has the most extensive Wadi Suq burials, grave sites are to be found throughout the UAE and Oman and vary from simple barrows to sophisticated structures.[7]
 
The notable Jebel Buhais burial ground, the oldest radiometrically dated burial site in the UAE[8], is an extensive necropolis, consisting of burial sites spanning the Stone, Iron, Bronze and Hellenistic ages of human settlement in the UAE. The widespread area of burials exhibits a number of important Wadi Suq tombs, including a unique clover-leaf shaped burial chamber, but has no evidence of Umm Al Nar era burials, although there are burials representing later eras, including the Hellenistic. The clover-shaped Wadi Suq period tomb at Jebel Buhais, BHS 66 stands as a unique piece of funerary architecture in the UAE.[9]
 
Artefacts
 
Wadi Suq electrum alloy plaque, found at Qattara Oasis.
Wadi Suq era weaponry shows a marked increase in sophistication, with an explosion in metallurgy taking place in the region. A number of tombs have been found with hundreds of weapons and other metal artefacts and long swords, bows and arrows became the predominant weapons. Long swords found at Qattara, Qidfa, Qusais and Bidaa bint Saud are double-edged and hilted. Light throwing spears also marked the weaponry of the time. Many of these weapons were cast in bronze.[10] One grave excavated in Shimal had no fewer than 18 fine bronze arrowheads.
 
Another explosive growth industry in the Wadi Suq era was the production of soft-stone vessels. While in the preceding Umm al-Nar era these were distinctively decorated with dotted circles, they now gained incised patterns of lines and are found in some profusion.[11]
 
The relative wealth and growing metallurgical sophistication of the Wadi Suq people is displayed by finds of jewellery, including gold and electrum plaques depicting back to back animals. Ongoing links with both Dilmun and the Indus Valley have been demonstrated.[12]
Shimal
Shimal is the name of a settlement in Ras Al Khaimah associated with the Shihuh tribe of the Northern UAE and Oman. It is also the location of an important archaeological site dating back to the Umm Al Nar culture (2,500-2,000 BC). Tombs excavated and surveyed at Shimal include both the round Umm Al Nar type and the barrow tombs typical of the ‘Wadi Suq’ era. Grave goods found at Shimal have included large finds of pottery as well as beads and objects providing a link to the Harappan Indus Valley Civilisation.[1]
 
The burial grounds at Shimal consist of at least 250 graves, some of which have been found to encompass over 300 burials. Many of the tombs were re-used.[2] The nearby site of Seih Al Harf mirrors many of the finds at Shimal.
 
The excavations at Shimal, principally those of the mid-1980s by a team from the University of Göttingen in Germany, are significant as they provided early evidence of the ‘Wadi Suq’ period, including finds of pottery, soft-stone vessels, bronze and copper weapons and beads which came to be regarded as typical of the period c. 2000-1300 BC in the UAE.[3]

Tell Abraq

Tell Abraq was an ancient Near Eastern city. Located on the border between Sharjah and Umm al-Qawain in the United Arab Emirates, the city was originally on the coastline of the Persian Gulf but changing sea levels have placed the remains of the city inland. It is located on the main road from Umm Al Qawain to Falaj Al Moalla.
 
The mound containing the ruins of Tell Abraq was originally excavated by a team from the University of Copenhagen working on the extensive remains of the city of Ed-Dur, a few kilometres to the north. Their original intention was to confirm the time sequence prior to Ed-Dur’s primacy, around 1,000 BCE. However, they were surprised to find extensive indications of much earlier settlement, dating back to the Umm Al Nar period, including a 3rd millennium monumental fortification.
 
Tell Abraq has been cited as being the “best preserved and largest prehistoric settlement in the Lower Gulf” [1] and is thought to be one of the key locations of the area the Mesopotamians knew as ‘Magan’.[2]
 
 
Contents
1 History
2 Archaeology
3 See also
4 Notes
5 References
6 External links
History
Finds at Tell Abraq show human occupation through the Umm Al Nar, Wadi Suq and Iron Age periods, from approximately 2,500 BCE to 400 BCE. At the core of the settlement lies a large circular fortification built out of mud brick and faced with stone, some 40 meters in diameter and eight metres high. This has been preserved by an Iron Age mud platform, built over the fortification.[3] It is the largest of the distinctive Umm Al Nar fortress towers to be excavated in the UAE.[4] As well as a collection of Umm Al Nar buildings and fireplaces, mud brick buildings dating from the second and early first millennium were found.[3]
 
The Umm Al Nar tomb contained the remains of some 286 individuals.[5] Analysis of the human remains have shown evidence that individuals suffering illness and limited mobility were cared for, pointing to a developed society which was sufficiently secure and prosperous to be able to afford compassion.[5] One of the individuals, a woman in her twenties, was found to be suffering from polio, thought to be the earliest dated instance of the disease in human history.[4]
 
As with Ed-Dur, there is evidence of extensive trade links between the people of Tell Abraq and Mesopotamia, Iran and the Indus Valley. Finds include two Harappan cubical weights, distinctive Harappan carnelian and agate jewellery and tin and ivory from Afghanistan.[6] An ivory comb found at the site has been linked through its decorative form to Bactria.[4] There is evidence that bronze was both refined and cast at the site.[citation needed]
 
Some 600 sherds of red-ridged Barbar pottery at Tel Abraq show distinct links to Umm Al Nar island and also ancient ‘Tilmun’, or Bahrain.[7]
 
Tell Abraq boasts the largest collection of faunal remains uncovered on any archaeological site within the Arabian Peninsula. Domesticated animals such as sheep, goats and cattle were reared, while locally available wild animals such as gazelle and oryx were hunted.[4] Fish and shellfish as well as turtles and dugongs from the Persian Gulf were eaten extensively. Digs have uncovered over 100,000 animal bone remains.[8]
 
Both Tell Abraq and Shimal and Seih Al Harf in Ras Al Khaimah show a continuation from the Umm Al Nar to Wadi Suq periods, although Shimal has yielded a preponderance of the distinctive Wadi Suq burials. The tower at Tell Abraq continued to be occupied throughout this period, with evidence of a changing lifestyle among its occupants and more dependence on seafood.[4] Further possible links between these two communities (through Ed-Dur) is provided by Iron Age pottery finds at Tell Abraq, which include similar artefacts to those found at Shimal.[4]
 
Archaeology
The mound comprises an area of some four hectares and rises to a height of some ten metres above the surrounding sabkha, or salt flats.it is a well known site in the UAE
 
The site was excavated in 5 seasons between 1989 and 1998 by a team from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark led by Daniel Potts.[9][10][11][12][13][14] Work was resumed in 2007 by a joint team from the Bryn Mawr College and the University of Tübingen led by Peter Magee.[15] Initially principally involved in cataloging the existing site, in 2010 large scale excavations were undertaken.[16]
 
Finds from Tell Abraq have been crucial in the division of the Iron Age I (1200-1000 BC), II (1000-500 BC) and III (500-300 BC) periods in the UAE.[14]

Dilmun Burial Mounds

The Dilmun Burial Mounds (Arabic: مدافن دلمون‎) are a UNESCO World Heritage Site[1] comprising necropolis areas on the main island of Bahrain dating back to the Dilmun and the Umm al-Nar culture.
 
Bahrain has been known since ancient times as an island with a very large number of burials, the (originally) quite a number of square kilometres of mounds were said to be one of the largest cemeteries in the ancient world. The cemeteries are concentrated in the north of the island, on the hard stony areas slightly above the arable farming soils – the south of the island is mainly sandy and desert-like. Recent studies have shown that the estimated/approximately 350,000 ancient grave mounds could have been solely produced by the local population over a number of thousands of years. The graves are not all of the same era, or of exactly the same styles, and can vary considerably in size in different areas of the moundfield. Research, under the auspices of the Bahrain National Museum (with the Bahrain Historical and Archaeological Society taking a keen interest), is still continuing, to establish a firm timeline for all these variations and continuations, as well as considering the implications for the society or societies that produced them.
 
 
Contents
1 Excavations
1.1 Chambers (tumuli)
1.2 Conservation controversies
2 See also
3 References
Excavations
Between Sunday the 10th and Tuesday the 19th of February 1889, some of the mounds were excavated by the British explorer J. Theodore Bent and his wife Mabel Bent. According to the diary of Mrs Bent they found “… bits of ivory, charcoal, ostrich eggshell…”.[2] These finds are now in the British Museum, London.[3] Theodore Bent published his results in two articles,[4] but a more extended account appeared in the Bents’ book Southern Arabia (1900).[5]
 
A Danish group in the 1950s was excavating at Qal’at al-Bahrain, the capital city of the Bronze Age, when they opened some tumuli and discovered items dating to around 4100–3700 BP of the same culture.[6][7] Many others began to excavate more of the graves, providing a view of the construction and content on these graves.[8][9]
 
Chambers (tumuli)
Each of the tumuli is composed of a central stone chamber that is enclosed by a low ring-wall and covered by earth and gravel. The size of the mounds varies, but the majority of them measure 15 by 30 ft (4.5 by 9 m) in diameter and are 3–6 ft (1–2 m) high. The smaller mounds usually contain only one chamber. The chambers are usually rectangular with one or two alcoves at the northeast end. Occasionally there are additional pairs of alcoves along the middle of the larger chambers.[8][9]
 
Although the chambers usually contained one burial each, some contain several people and the secondary chambers often contain none. The deceased were generally laid with their heads in the alcove end of the chamber and lying on their right sides. The bodies were accompanied by few items. There were a few pieces of pottery and occasionally shell or stone stamp seals, baskets sealed with asphalt, ivory objects, stone jars, and copper weapons. The skeletons are representative of both sexes with a life expectancy of approximately 40 years. Babies were generally buried at and outside the ring-wall. The average number of children per family was 1.6 persons.[8][9]
 
Conservation controversies
Attempts to protect the burial mounds have run into opposition by religious fundamentalists who consider them unIslamic and have called for them to be concreted over for housing. During a parliamentary debate on 17 July 2005, the leader of the Salafist al Asalah party, Sheikh Adel Mouwda, said “Housing for the living is better than the graves for the dead. We must have pride in our Islamic roots and not some ancient civilisation from another place and time, which has only given us a jar here and a bone there.”[10]

Navnet araber opptrer første gang på Kurkh stelaen laget av Shalmaneser III i 852 f.vt., Diyabakir, Tyrkia

File:Map of Aksum and South Arabia ca. 230 AD.jpg

File:Arabischer Maler um 1335 003.jpg

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Semittiske språk, 100 e.vt.

Mada’in Saleh/ Al-Hijr/ Hegra:

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File:Petra Jordan BW 36.JPG

Madain saleh - Saudi Arabia

lphoto

Petra:

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Islam:

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Kaliffenes epoke

Brun: Expansion under Muhammad, 622–632
Rosa: Expansion during the Rashidun kalifatet, 632–661
Lys: Ekspansjon under Umayyade kalifatet, 661–750

Byzantium and the Caliphate.

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