|11 December 2003
3,000-year-old dam found in Dubai
French archaeologists from the French National Research Centre working at a temple and fortified site near Al Bithna village, on the east coast of Dubai, United Arab Emirates, have found a dam dating back to 1000 BCE.
The team, working with the Fujairah Department of Archaeology and Heritage, are now in their third season at the site, which has yielded remains dating back to the Iron Age. The site, known as Bithna 44, comprises of an 8,000 square metre fortification on a small mountain, built to protect the village and its temple.
The dam, of which only a length of 21 metres now remains, was built of small and medium-sized rocks and sand surrounded by two huge rocky barriers, and shows that the residents at that time were practising agriculture. They also practised ritual ceremonies - the temple has a large altar on which sacrifices took place.
Dr Anne Benoist, head of the French team, said "What makes this site important is that the old temple, which dates back to the Iron Age, consists of three temples that have big and small rectangular rooms, in addition to a row of wooden posts that support the ceilings."
Dr Benoist added "The worshippers were believed to hold ritualistic banquets, slay sheep and deer as sacrifices to the deities to bless them. More studies will be conducted on this site to help us understand the lifestyle of the people who used to live here."
Source: Gulf News (8 December 2003)
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