archaeological-find
Image used for illustrative purposes only. Image Credit: Shutterstock

A small and ancient ring found in a land long forgotten, its significance not dulled by the passing of time finds its way back into the spotlight as the logo of Expo 2020. The relic, found in Saruq Al Hadid, has intricate patterns that have come to represent connectivity, resilience and strength as it turned muse for the occasion.

How did Dubai come to discover the ring?

In 2002, when His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai, was flying over a desert landscape in Rub Al-Khali, he noticed the subtle difference in the colours of the sand. This spot would become known as Saruq Al Hadid, where artefacts dating back to the Iron Age – i.e. 3,000-5,000 years ago – could be found.

Ornaments, arrowheads and axes have been discovered in this area. And so has the ring that inspired the Expo 2020 logo.

Shaikh Mohammed Saruq Al Hadid
Over 12,000 artefacts have been unearthed from the Saruq Al Hadid archaeological site. Image Credit: WAM

Where is the archaeological site?

The archaeological site stretches from a desert landscape in southern Dubai, on the northern edge of the great Rub al-Khali (Empty Quarter) desert.

Can I see the artefacts discovered here?

Today, Saruq Al Hadid is under the care and management of the Dubai Municipality’s Architectural Heritage Department. If you want to see the ancient mix of artefacts, look no further than the Saruq Al Hadid Museum at Al Fahidi, Dubai.

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Incense burners found at the Saruq Al Hadid Iron Age archaeological site, south of Dubai. Image Credit: Zarina Fernandes/Gulf News
Visit the museum
Timings: Saturday to Sunday, from 8am to 5pm.
Cost: Dh20 (Adult), Dh10 (Child); Tickets are free for children below 6 years and for adults above 60 years.

What can I find there?

The museum is home to several ancient discoveries, all of which emerged from the site. Some of the other finds on display here include:

  • Earthen pots,
  • Ornaments,
  • Arrow heads,
  • Antiquities such as, swords, cups, spoons, stamp seals, bottles, etc.,
  • Anklets,
  • Arches, and
  • Axe blades.

Artefacts from Lebanon, India and Afghanistan can also be found here. As of today, more than 12,000 artefacts have been found.

Try this

Explore the archaeological site through a 3D cinematic room. As you explore the museum, you will learn about the area through interactive screens and videos. Numerous artefacts are also on display for visitors.

The Expo 2020 logo

The Expo 2020 logo
A screenshot of the Expo 2020 logo, which was inspired from the gold ring found at the Saruq Al-Hadid archaeological site. Image Credit: YouTube/@Expo2020Dubai

Expo 2020 runs from October 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022. The mega-event will focus on the theme 'Connecting Minds, Creating the Future'. It will be attended by people from more than 190 countries. Its logo draws from the past, connecting the then and the now. From a recent find, linking the present and the future. From the ancient days to the bright times to follow. 

-The writer is an intern with Gulf News.