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Relic found in Sharjah points to ancient Omani kingdom

Inscription found engraved on tombstone in underground burial chamber

Gulf News

Sharjah: The discovery of an ancient tombstone inscription in Sharjah dating back to between 215BC and 222BC was on Wednesday described as the oldest archaeological find, proving that the ancient kingdom of Oman existed in the late 3rd century BC.

The inscription found engraved on the tombstone of a huge grave consisting of an underground burial chamber bears the name and identity of Amad Bin Jar Bin Ali Kahin, the king of the ancient kingdom of Oman,

The tombstone was unveiled for the first time on Wednesday by His Highness Dr Shaikh Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah.

Dr Shaikh Sultan revealed the discovery during the inauguration of the Maliha Archaeological Centre, in the presence of Shaikh Sultan Bin Mohammad Bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler of Sharjah.

The historical treasure was unearthed by a Belgium expedition from the Royal Museums of Art and History in Brussels, in collaboration with a team from the Directorate of Antiquities at the Sharjah Department of Culture and Information.

The inscription, written in Aramaic and a southern Arabic language, also includes the date when the tomb was built, saying it dates back to a time corresponding to the year 221/222 or 216/215 BC.

The discovery was made public during the launch of Sharjah’s latest tourism project, offering tours of ancient sites, eco-tourism and adventure sports in Maliha area.

Maliha, located 50km east of Sharjah city, is a treasure trove of ruins, artefacts and rare wildlife and plants.

The Maliha Archaeological and Eco-tourism Project is now open to visitors. The project has been nominated by Unesco as a World Heritage site.

Many of the relics are on show at the newly-opened Maliha Archaeological Centre, where visitors will also find a burial tomb. Prices start at Dh25 and go up according to the number of people and options.

Guided tours of the nearby sites are also available, showcasing ruins of a palace, fort, burial chambers, and caves once habited by people.

Besides the historical exploration, visitors can also choose from guided off-road drives and rides, horseback trips or treks through the desert to strange rock formations, taking in the landscape and encountering wildlife. There is even a paragliding option and overnighters available.

Prices and more details are available on www.discovermleiha.ae, while bookings can be made through info@shurooq.gov.ae and 06 556 0777.

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