Know the UAE: Archaeological site found south of Dubai shows key aspects of life in Iron Age Arabia

Ancient gold jewellery, pottery and other items show Iron Age civilization thrived thousands of years ago south of Dubai

Dubai: Did you know that an ancient civilization that goes back more than 3,000 years was found in Dubai?

Set in a spectacular desert landscape south of modern emirate, the site known as Saruq Al Hadid is an archaeological treasure trove first discovered in 2002 by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

The site is an important archaeological find which shows that Dubai did not become a centre of trade only in the 21st century, or after the development of the Dubai Creek.

The Saruq Al Hadid site, preserved by the dunes that covered it for millennia before being discovered, provides ample evidence that the emirate had strong trade links with a wide swathe of the ancient world — from Egypt to the Indian subcontinent, dating as far back thousands of years.

A jar, one of the 12,000 pieces found from the archaeological site. (Zarifa Fernandez / Gulf News)


Today, experts consider Saruq Al Hadid as the jewel in the crown of Dubai’s archaeology, a site of international significance that increases he understanding of industrial activity, trade and everyday life during the Iron Age.

How did they arrive at that conclusion? Some 12,000 pieces of archaeological pieces were found here so far, making it one of the largest and most important Iron Age sites in the Arabian Peninsula.

Together, these items tell a compelling history of Dubai's past, through which archeologists are able to map the trading links that existed between Dubai and other countries in the region during the Iron Age.

These priceless Sarouq Al Hadeed pieces are now on display in a museum in Shandagha, Bur Dubai.

Incense burners found at the site. (Zarina Fernandez / Gulf News)

 

The exhibits include golden, bronze and metal foundry that discovered at Sarouq Al Hadeed Archaeological Site in the Rub' Al Khali desert (the Empty Quarter) South of Dubai.

In fact, the logo of Dubai Expo 2020 was inspired from a golden ring that was round at the site.

Gold jewellery found at the Saruq Al Hadid archaeological site south of Dubai (Supplied)

 

Arrowheads from Saruq Al Hadid site. (Youtube screen grab) 


The rich collection of artifacts reveal that the Saruq Al Hadid site was one of the main centers of copper manufacturing of various tools in the region since the beginning of the Iron Age.

The site contains large amounts of metal ores and remains of domesticated animals that date back to thousands of years.

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