Listen to the new podcast just released by the Department of Culture and Tourism about some of the interesting palaeontological discoveries we have made in Abu Dhabi, including a broader discussion of fossils discovered in Arabia and elsewhere.
The Ubaid vase from Marawah is featured as number 2 in the 10 hidden treasures to seek out when visiting Louvre Abu Dhabi.
You can find this in Wing 1, Gallery 1 – The First Villages.
Click here to read about the hidden treasures of Louvre Abu Dhabi.
WHO: NYU Abu Dhabi Institute
OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
Archaeological discoveries from an ancient village on Marawah Island located in Abu Dhabi’s Al Dhafra region reveal the presence of a sophisticated and skilled population that traded and thrived during the Neolithic period. Artefacts excavated provide a comprehensive picture of life in the UAE around 8,000 years ago. The people living there constructed stone-built houses, the earliest examples of such architecture discovered in the Arabian Gulf. These people herded sheep and goats, and used stone tools to hunt animals like gazelles. The presence of fish, dugong, turtle and dolphin bones suggest that seafood was an important part of their diet. This talk delves into the above topics and examines their historical scope in greater detail.
Mark Beech, Head of Archaeology (Al Dhafra & Abu Dhabi), Historic Environment Department, Department of Culture and Tourism (DCT)
NYU Abu Dhabi Institute
The 13th International Conference of the International Council for Archaeozoology (ICAZ) will take place from 31 August to 7 September 2018 at the Middle East Technical University in Ankara, Turkey. For more information and to view the programme click here
I am one of the co-authors of a paper entitled: “Investigating Neolithic camel hunters at Baynunah, Abu Dhabi, UAE”. This will be presented in the General Session on the 3rd September 2018.
I will also be attending the pre-ICAZ conference field trip (from 31 August – 1 September 2018) to the Neolithic sites of Catalhoyuk, Asikli Hoyuk and Boncuklu Hoyuk.
The 52nd Seminar for Arabian Studies will be held at the British Museum in London from 3-5 August 2018. For more information and to view the programme click here.
I am one of the co-authors of a paper entitled: “The numerous islands of Ichthyophagi: Neolithic fisheries on Dalma Island, Abu Dhabi emirate, United Arab Emirates”. This paper is co-written by Kevin Lidour, Mark Beech and Philippe Bearez. It will be presented on Saturday 4th August from 9:25 – 9:50 am, in Session 5: Arabian Prehistory – Session1, chaired by Kim Williams.
TIME: Tuesday 26 June, 2018 – Refreshments, Membership sign-up and Bookstall from 7:15pm, talk begins at 7:30pm
LOCATION: Salon 1, Alyazya Ballroom, Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi, Saadiyat Island
BOOKINGS: To book a ticket to attend the lecture please click here.
ABOUT THE TALK: This talk will highlight some of the important palaeontological and archaeological discoveries which I have been involved with since I first came to Abu Dhabi in 1994. These include discovering important fossil specimens and animal trackways from the Baynunah Formation geological outcrop, at Shuwaihat, Ruwais, Umm Al-Ishtan and Mleisa, which date to between 6-8 million years ago. The earliest archaeological evidence for the first populations inhabiting Abu Dhabi dating to the Middle Palaeolithic between 35,000 – 200,000 years ago from Jebel Barakah. Details of life during the Neolithic period between 6-8,000 years ago on Marawah Island, Dalma Island, Baynunah and Umm az-Zamul. Finally, the discovery of the 7th-8th century Church and Monastery on Sir Bani Yas Island.
ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Dr Mark J. Beech is currently “Head of Archaeology and Palaeontology – Al Dhafra & Abu Dhabi Section” in the Historic Environment Department at the Department of Culture and Tourism (DCT), Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Dr Beech was formerly the Senior Resident Archaeologist for the Abu Dhabi Islands Archaeological Survey (ADIAS) from 1994-2006, after which he was appointed Head of Cultural Landscapes in the Historic Environment Department at the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (ADACH) from 2006-12, and then Head of Coastal Heritage and Palaeontology for the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) from 2012-2017. He has a Bachelor of Science Honours Degree in Archaeology from UCL Institute of Archaeology (1982-85), a Masters Degree (with Distinction) in Environmental Archaeology from the University of Sheffield (1986-87), and a Phd in Archaeology from the University of York, UK (1997-2001). In 2009 Dr Beech received the Sheikh Mubarak Bin Mohammed Natural History Prize for 2008 from the Emirates Natural History Group, in recognition of his services to the Archaeology of the UAE.
Wednesday 30th May 2018, 21:00 – 22:00 pm
Kerala Social Centre, Madinat Zayed, Abu Dhabi
Dr Mark Beech, Archaeology Head (Al Dhafra and Abu Dhabi), Historic Environment Department, Department of Culture and Tourism (DCT), Abu Dhabi, will present some of the most important archaeological discoveries made in Abu Dhabi.
The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi is pleased to organise ‘The Archaeology 2018 Conference’ in Al Ain.
Speakers will present the results of their latest research on the archaeology of the UAE. Focussed discussions will also address issues of conservation, public presentation of archaeological discoveries, and the role Museums play in communicating the UAE’s archaeological heritage to the public.
The conference will feature over 30 papers with topics ranging from the earliest human settlement of the UAE (over 100,000 years ago), to the recent history of settlement on Saadiyat island.
The conference will include a special session on the Legacy of Sheikh Zayed and the Archaeology of the UAE chaired by Salama Al Shamsi (Senior Project Manager, Zayed National Museum).
Archaeology ’18 Conference
26th-30th March 2018
March 26th. St. Regis Hotel Abu Dhabi – Danat Al Ain Resort
8:00-10:00: For international guests: breakfast and checkout, St Regis Hotel Abu Dhabi
10:00-12:00: Transportation from Abu Dhabi to Danat Al Ain Resort
12:00-1:30: Arrival, and check in, Danat Al Ain Resort
1:30-2:30: Lunch, Danat Al Ain Resort
3:00-3:45: Welcoming ceremony
3:45-4:05: Coffee Break
Session 1. Palaeoenvironment and Early Human Settlement
Chair: Peter Magee
4:10-4:30: Mark Beech, Faysal Bibi, Brian Kraatz, Waled Omar, Ahmed al Faki, Mubarak Al Mazrouei, When Elephants walked in Abu Dhabi’s Al Dhafra region: new evidence for a series of Late Miocene Proboscidean trackways
4:35-4:55: Damien Arhan, Pavlopoulos Kosmas and Eric Fouache, Holocene relative sea-level variations along the Arabian Gulf : a new perspective
5:00-5:20: Margareta Tengberg, Charlène Bouchaud and Vladimir Dabrowski, The introduction and cultivation of summer-crops in the Arabian Peninsula: a critical review of the archaeobotanical evidence
5:30-6:00: Coffee Break
Session 2. The Neolithic in the UAE.
Chair: Omar al Kaabi
6:00-6:20: Sophie Méry, The Neolithic site of Umm al Quwain UAQ2, recent discoveries
6:25-6:45: Mark Jonathan Beech, Marjan Mashkour, Terry O’Connor, Antoine Zazzo, Gourguen Davtian, Abdulla Khalfan Al Kaabi, Ahmed Abdulla Elhag Elfaki, William Higgs, Sonia O’Connor, Karyne Debue, Anne Mortimer, Kirk Roberts, Adrian Parker and Ash Parton, Neolithic camel hunters of Baynunah (Abu Dhabi, UAE)
6:50-7:10: Mark J. Beech, Richard T.H. Cuttler, Olivier Brunet, John Martin, Abdulla Khalfan Al Kaabi, Ahmed Abdalla Elhag Elfaki, Howell Magnus Roberts, Kirk Roberts, Peter Spencer and Dominic Tomasi, Recent archaeological excavations at MR11, Marawah Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
March 27th. Danat Al Ain Resort
Session 3. The Legacy of Sheikh Zayed and the Archaeology of the UAE
Chair: Salama Al Shamsi
8:50-9:00: Salama Al Shamsi, Introductory Remarks on the Zayed National Museum Project)
9:00-9:20: Peter Hellyer, The role of Sheikh Zayed in the formation of ADIAS
9:25-9:45: Peter Magee, The origins of archaeological fieldwork in the UAE in the context of Near Eastern archaeological practice
9:50-10:10: Derek Kennet, The archaeological roots of the United Arab Emirates
10:15-10:30: Coffee Break
Session 4: Bronze Age Transitions I
Chair: Derek Kennet
10:30-10:50: Christian Velde, The Hafit Period in Ras al-Khaimah
10:55-11:15: Louise Purdue, Sophie Costa, Maël Crépy, Julien Charbonnier, Gourguen Davtian, Hatem Djerbi , Alain Carré, Clément Virmoux, Claude Rouvier, The Ras al-Khaimah oasis project: formation, evolution and socio-environmental dynamics. Results of the 2017 field campaign in the oasis of Dhayah
11:20-11:40: Julia Schoenicke and Salah Hassan, Settlement continuity in Qidfah 3, Fujaira, UAE
11:45-12:05: Julien Charbonnier, Maria Paola Pellegrino, Michele Degli Esposti, Aurélien Hamel Sabine Sorin and Anne Benoist, From the Bronze to the Iron Age: Recent excavations at Masafi-5 (Emirate of Fujairah)
Session 5. Bronze Age Transitions II
Chair: Steffen Laursen
1:35-1:55: Knut Bretzke and Sabah Jasim, Paleolithic research in Sharjah: achievements and future prospects
2:00-2:20: Lloyd Weeks, Charlotte Cable, K. Franke, Claire Newton, Steven Karacic, James Roberts, Ivan Stepanov, Helene David-Cuny, Yousif Ali Al Ali, Mansour Boraik Radwan Karim and Hassan Mohammed Zein, Temporary desert sites in SE Arabia’s late prehistoric settlement systems: Insights from Saruq al-Hadid, Dubai
2:25-2:45: Kristina Pfeiffer and Salah Hassan, Late Bronze/Iron Age Populations Reconsidered: Recent Research in the Emirate of Fujairah
2:50-3:10: Marc Handel and Steven Karacic, Tell Abraq in the second millennium BC
3:15-3:35: Mansour Boraik Radwan Karim and Helene David, Seals of Sarooq al-Hadid
3:40-4:00: Fernando Contreras, Julio Ramos, Ella Magri, Ahmed Mahmud, Yaaqoub Yousif Ali Al Ali, Mansour Boraik Radwan Karim, Hassan Mohammed Zein, Survey and Archaeological Interventions in the Hatta Tombs, Dubai, UAE (presented by Ella Magri on Day 3)
4:30: Meet in lobby
4:45: Arrival to QAC and the basement site visit (coffee break with the traditional Emirati’s sweets, coffee and dates)
5:50-6:30: Arrival to the Jahili Fort and Trucial Scouts Exhibit.
6:50-7:40: Arrival and visit to the Qasr al Muwaiji
8:00: Arrival at hotel and dinner
March 28th. Danat Al Ain Resort
Session 6. Conservation Planning and Traditional Architecture
Chair: Peter Sheehan
8:30-8:50: Hilal Khan, Al Jazirat Al Hamrah Traditional Town: an introduction to the conservation and revitalization project
8:55-9:15: Rami Daher, Aqeel Ahmed Aqeel, Rana Zureikat, Franco Sciorilli, Conservation of the Church and Cistern at Sir Bani Yas
9:20-9:40: Gaetano Palumbo, Aqeel Ahmed Aqeel, Amel Chabbi, Testing the effects of shelters on exposed earthen structures through long-term environmental monitoring at Hili 2, Al Ain, UAE.
9:45-10:05: Noor al-Huda Farhan Al Soukhni, Conservation of Saruq al-Hadid (Dubai, UAE) archaeological objects
10:10-10:30: Dia Eddin Abdullah Al Tawallbeh, The traditional house (Bait Altyn) at Al Ain: Architectural and decorative elements characteristics
10:30-10:45: Coffee Break
Session 7. The Iron Age in the UAE
Chair: Hamdan Rashed al Rashedi
10:45-11:05: Tatiana Valente, Fernando Contreras, Ahmed Mahmud, Yaaqoub Yousif Ali Al Ali, Mansour Boraik Radwan Karim, Excavations in Area 2A of Saruq al-Hadid (Dubai, UAE): Iron Age II evidence for copper production, workshop area and ceremonial activities.
11:10-11:30: Armando Gonzalez and Carlos Fernandez Death and human remains in Iron Age Oman Peninsula: a multidisciplinary approach
11:35-11:55: Carmen de Cerro, Dig an ancient oasis’. Last seasons of work (2015-2018) at al Madam (Sharjah)
1200-12:20: Steve Karacic, Settlement Organization in Iron Age II sites of the United Arab Emirates
12:25-12:45: Peter Sheehan, Timothy Power and Anne Benoist, Discovery and exploration of an Iron Age sequence at the Bayt Bin Ati, Qattara Oasis, al-Ain
Chair: Mark Beech.
Session 8. From the Late Pre-Islamic to the Recent Past I
2:30-2:50 Bruno Overlaet, Tombs and burial customs in the Late Pre-Islamic period – a status quaestionis
2:55-3:15. Joseph Elders, The Christian monastery on Sir Bani Yas island: planned expansion and disorderly decline?
3:20-3:40: Hamdan Rashed al Rashedi, Archaeological discoveries in the light of the field survey in Abu Dhabi
3:45-4:05: Peter Sheehan, Timothy Power, Omar Salem Al Kaabi, Afra Hamad Al Jenaibi, Mai Hareb Al Mansoori and Myriam Saleh Al Dhaheri, Al Ain Oases Mapping Project: Al Ain Oasis, 2018
4:10-4:40: Coffee Break
Session 9. From the Late Pre-Islamic to the Recent Past II
4:45-5:05: Afra Hamad Al Jenaibi, Mai Hareb Al Mansoori, Timothy Power, Mark Beech, Richard Cuttler, Robert Parthesius and Heiko Kallweit, Broken Pot Sherds on a Desert Island: Pottery Analysis from the Saadiyat Coastal Heritage Project, 2015-17
5:10-5:30: Peter Sheehan, Timothy Power, Omar Salem Al Kaabi, Mohammed Mattar Al Dhaheri and Mohammed Khalifa, Forts, Finds and Follies: Recent steps towards understanding the cultural landscape of Liwa and Al Dhafra
5:35-5:55: Timothy Power, Mark Horton, Omar Salem al-Kaabi, Mohamed Matar al-Dhaheri, Myriam Saleh al-Dhaheri, Noura Hamed al-Hameli, Henry Webber and Rosie Ireland, The Zanzibar Trade of the Emirates: New Perspectives from the Zayed University Excavations at the Old Fort at Zanzibar
March 29th Danat Al Ain Resort– St. Regis Hotel Abu Dhabi
8:00-9:00: Breakfast, Danat Al Ain Resort
9:00-10:00: Check out and gather in lobby, Danat Al Ain Resort
10:00-12:30: Travel to Abu Dhabi
12:30-1:30: Check in. St. Regis. Hotel Abu Dhabi
1:30-2:30: Lunch, St. Regis. Hotel Abu Dhabi
2:30-3:00: Gather in Lobby
3:00-6:00: Louvre Abu Dhabi, Visit
Visit the new Department of Culture and Tourism Podcasts page and hear about some of our latest archaeological work on Abu Dhabi’s Islands:
Listen to the March 1st 2018 Podcast – The Evidence from the Abu Dhabi Islands – Peter Magee (25 mins, english).
There is also an arabic translation of the podcast about the archaeological evidence from the Abu Dhabi Islands (arabic, 18 minutes).
L’aube de la navigation dans le Golfe Arabe – Trouvailles faites dans les îles d’Abou Dhabi
– a french version of the podcast is also available on the mobile phone app version
On Wednesday 28th February 2018 we had a visit to the Marawah MR11 excavations from a team from the Zayed National Museum (Noura Al Moubarak and Emma Thompson) accompanied by Peter Magee (Head of Archaeology at the Historic Environment Department at the Department of Culture and Tourism).
Here is a nice selfy of the MR11 archaeological team plus visitors. In a clockwise direction from the giant selfy stick holder: Howell Magnus Roberts, Alan Sartori, Richard Cuttler, Kirk Roberts, Samander Khan, Zahir Khan, Abdulla Jalil Muhammad, John Martin, Mark Jonathan Beech, Rashid Ali, Peter Spencer, Peter Magee, Emma Thompson, and Noura Al Mubarak.