|19 August 2007
Ancient UAE was an active trading hub
An expert panel of archaeologists from around the world claim the Arabian Peninsula – long thought to be a barren wasteland from around 5,000 BCE – was home to developed settlements during the same period. In the August 3 edition of Science magazine, archaeologists attending an Italian conference contend that developed people lived in a string of small civilised trading posts from Mesopotamia to ancient India including lands in and around the UAE. Science magazine writer Andrew Lawler wrote: "While Mesopotamia is still the cradle of civilisation in the sense that urban evolution began there, we now know that the area between Mesopotamia and India spawned a host of cities."
The American Association for Advancement of Science said in a statement: "It’s becoming clear that these centres traded goods and could have shared technology and architecture. Recovered artefacts such as beads, shells, vessels, seals and game boards show that a network linked these civilisations."
A staffer with the Ras Al Khaimah Department of Antiquities and Museums, UAE archaeologist Ahmad Hilal said new physical evidence dug up along the Gulf coast from the Hafit Period (3,200-2,600 BCE) shows an advanced people. "Some people are mistaken, they think there was nothing here in the UAE, no people a very long time ago," Hilal said. "But if you look at the Umm Al Nar culture (2,600-2,000 BCE), it is very colourful. It shows the people here were very developed with pottery, trade and local culture."
According to the Department's own study: "Evidence suggests that trade in copper with Mesopotamia and the Indus valley made the area of the United Arab Emirates wealthy." The department said the trade was of such note that it earned this region a mention in ancient Mesopotamian texts as the "Land of Magan". Hilal pointed out that society had developed to a degree that fine ancient burial tombs have been found throughout Ras Al Khaimah and the rest of the UAE.
Source: Xpress (16 August 2007)
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