Archaeology 2018 Conference – Danat Al Ain Resort – 26-29 March 2018

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

7:30: Dinner.

March 27th.
Danat Al Ain Resort

8:00-8:45: Breakfast

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)

 12:10-1:30: Lunch

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

7:30-8:30: Breakfast

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

1:10-2:20: Lunch

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

7:00: Dinner.

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



Podcast DCT – The Evidence from the Abu Dhabi Islands

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