Paper to be presented at 54th Seminar for Arabian Studies 2021

The 54th Seminar for Arabian Studies organized by the International Association for the Study of Arabia (IASA), will take place online over the weekends of 2nd – 4th and 9th – 11th July 2021 in collaboration with and supported by Casa Árabe, Cordoba. To attend the 54th Seminar for Arabian Studies and for more information please click here.

The following paper is to be presented by our Marawah excavation team at the 54th Seminar for Arabian Studies 2021 on Friday 2 July 2021 from 13:40-14:05 pm (GMT).

Neolithic settlement patterns and subsistence strategies on Marawah Island, Abu Dhabi emirate, United Arab Emirates

by: Mark Jonathan Beech, Noura Hamad Al Hameli, Richard Cuttler, Kevin Lidour, Howell Roberts, Remy Crassard, Nurcan Yalman, and Talfan Davies.


Neolithic, Settlement, Architecture, Subsistence, Arabian Gulf


Recent work has revealed that there are three major Neolithic settlements present on Marawah Island, Abu Dhabi, known as MR1, MR2.5 and MR11. Excavations at the settlement of MR11 are radically changing our ideas of Neolithic architecture, in particular the spatial organisation of settlements. MR11 comprises a group of 7 mounds (Areas A to G), the first of which (Area A) was subject to excavation in 2003 and 2004 (Beech et al 2005). Work has continued every year since 2014 on Areas A, B, C and F. Radiocarbon dating of charcoal fragments have demonstrated that this settlement was occupied from about 8,000-years-ago to 6,500-years-ago (Beech et al 2019). The excavation of each of these areas revealed different forms of architecture. It is now clear that a part of the tripartite house in Area A post-dates an earlier building. Areas B and C comprise a series of different shaped rooms and paved areas with multiple entrances. Preliminary excavations on Area F indicate the presence of a multi-celled structure that is very different in character to the other areas.


Beech M., R. Cuttler, D. Moscrop, H. Kallweit & J. Martin. 2005. New evidence for the Neolithic settlement of Marawah Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies  35: 37-56.

Beech, M.J.,  R.T.H. Cuttler, A.K. Al Kaabi, A.A. El Faki, J. Martin, N. H. Al Hameli, H.M. Roberts, P. Spencer, D. Tomasi, O. Brunet and R. Crassard. 2019. Excavations at MR11 on Marawah Island (Abu Dhabi, UAE): new insight into the architecture and planning of Arabian Neolithic settlements and early evidence for pearling.  Arabian Archaeology and Epigraphy 2019. Article