First Published: 2011-11-01

 

Exploring Coastal Heritage of Dalma Island

 

Work on Dalma involves geophysical investigations to create maps of subsurface structures, archaeological features, coastal surveys of UAE’s island.

 

Middle East Online

Important discoveries

ABU DHABI - The Historic Environment Department of the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (ADACH) began October a project to explore the coastal heritage of Dalma Island in Al Gharbia (Western Region) in cooperation with a team from the Maritime Archaeology Stewardship Trust (MAST) at the University of Southampton.

The project is part of the role played by ADACH in preserving tangible and intangible heritage to increase awareness, dissemination and promotion of local culture.

The work on Dalma involved geophysical investigations to create maps of subsurface structures and archaeological features, as well as coastal surveys of the island.

The project is part of a larger project which is concerned with the UAE’s coastal heritage. It is aimed mainly at developing public awareness of its conservation and preservation, characterizing historic waterfronts and comparing a number of settlements of the Islamic era within the UAE. The project involves a significant coordination and cooperation with the Directorate of Heritage in Sharjah, said Mohammed Khalaf Al Mazrouei, Director General of ADACH.

The geophysical survey identified remains of buildings beneath local farms and others near the Al Muraykhi House which form part of the old market. Evidence of large buildings in the area of the cemetery to the northwest of the historic settlement of Dalma may relate to pottery from the Middle Islamic era (1000-1250 AD) and the Late Islamic I era (1500-1800 AD) which was noted here during previous surveys.

At the Ubaid site on the island, which radiocarbon dates have shown was occupied from 5500-4500 BC and which originally lay at the southern end of the island before its modern extension, the geophysical surveys revealed the presence of pits and postholes representing an extension of the important Neolithic site discovered there previously. During the survey a flint arrowhead was also found, probably the best example yet recovered from the Ubaid site

Mohammed Amer Al Neyadi, Director of the Historic Environment Department of ADACH, added that the information gathered during the survey was intended to provide a wider historical and archaeological picture of Dalma island. Interviews conducted with residents of the island like Mr Jumaa al Qubaisi added to this picture by providing more details of the old town and its buildings before their demolition in the 1960s.

The coastal surveys also documented historic fish traps, known locally as al-hadra or al-miskar, along the west coast of the island. These traps were probably contemporary with the historic buildings of the town and were intended to harvest fish trapped by the receding tide. In recent years they have been gradually buried by movements of sand caused by changes to the coastline of the island. The recent survey has enabled the location of these significant indicators of the past cultural and economic activities of the island to be recorded, an important step towards their future safeguarding and protection.

 

13 dead, 100 injured in two Spanish seaside city attacks

Israel freezes implementation of settlement law

Erdogan meddles in German politics

Saudi Arabia installing cranes at Yemen ports

Civilians stay on frontlines despite dangers in Raqa

Low-cost attacks a new reality for Europeans

Forces of Libya's Haftar say commander wanted by ICC in detention

Yemen rebels urged to free political commentator

Iranian footballer breaks silence over ban for playing Israelis

IS fighters almost encircled in Syrian desert

For Israel, White House ties trump neo-Nazis and antisemitism

Iran reform leader ends hunger strike

Van ploughs through pedestrians in Barcelona terror attack

13 killed in Barcelona van attack

Iraq acknowledges abuses in Mosul campaign

Netanyahu under fire for response to US neo-Nazism

Israel to free high-profile suspects in money laundering probe

Spanish police shut down jet-ski migrant smugglers

Syrian actress, activist Fadwa Suleiman dies in Paris

Israeli court extends detention for Islamic cleric over ‘incitement’

UAE to provide $15 million a month to Gaza

Sudan's Bashir 'satisfied' with Nile dam project

US-backed rebels say American presence in Syria to last ‘decades’

Tunisian clerics oppose equal inheritance rights for women

Israel strikes almost 100 Hezbollah arms convoys in 5 years

UN hopes for eighth round of Syria talks before year’s end

LONG READ: How Syria continues to evade chemical weapons justice

Civilians killed in US-led raids on Raqa

Qatari pilgrims begin flooding into Saudi by land

Turkey arrests 9 more journalists for alleged ‘Gulen links’

Iran’s Karroubi on hunger strike over 6-year house arrest

Saudi Arabia to restart work on Grand Mosque expansion

Algeria reshuffles cabinet, nominates three new ministers

Syria rebels lose heavyweight faction

ICC orders Mali ex-jihadist pay 2.7 m euros for Timbuktu destruction

Libya seeks to ‘organise’ NGOs carrying migrant rescue Ops

More than one million South Sudan refugees in Uganda

Beirut, Damascus pledge to boost economic ties

Two killed on Gaza-Egypt border

Qataris to do hajj on Saudi king expenses

Fire breaks out at UNESCO heritage site in Saudi Arabia

Iran military chief in Turkey for talks on Syrian war

Saudi Electricity announces $1.75b in international loans

Israel to strip Jazeera journalist of press credentials

Bahrain state media accuses Qatar of trying to topple regime