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7,000-year-old skeletal remains give glimpse of the past

An exhibition displaying six skeletal castings 7,000 years old was opened to the public on Sunday, offering an insight into the Stone Age period in the region.

  • Shaikh Sultan with Dr Jasem and other officials visit the exhibition showcasing archaeological exploration at Image Credit:Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News
  • Sharjah's 7,000-year-old graveyard and the oldest in the UAE at the Sharjah Archaeological Museum. Image Credit:Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News
Gulf News

Sharjah: An exhibition displaying six skeletal castings 7,000 years old was opened to the public on Sunday, offering an insight into the Stone Age period in the region.

The exhibition was inaugurated by His Highness Dr Shaikh Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, at the Sharjah Archaeological Museum.

More than 600 skeletons were found at a graveyard in Jebel Al Buhais, located between Dhaid and Al Madam, which dates back to the fifth millennium BC, said Dr Sabbah Jasem, Dir-ector of the Sharjah Antiquities Department.

"We expect to discover thousands of more skeletons in our future excavations," said Dr Jasem.

The joint excavation was carried out by researchers from the Sharjah Directorate of Antiquities and the University of Tubingen, Germany.

Popular site

The excavation at Al Buhais site ran for over 10 years from 1995 to 2005, and "the skeletal findings were kept for further study in Germany and Sharjah", said Dr Jasem, who added that the site was extremely popular at the time as it was probably used by nomadic herders.

"We assume that people were buried at Al Buhais in the spring, while travelling between the mountain sites and the coastal sites during the summer and winter times," he said, as many skeletons were found buried with sea shells.

Archaeologists estimate the nomadic herders visited Al Buhais annually for 1,000 years, until the spring time dried up at approximately 4,000 BC.

The graveyard showed archaeologists that there were two modes of burial - primary, where it is buried once, and secondary.

"There were many skeletons that were originally buried somewhere else before. Al Buhais must have been an important site because the inhabitants brought back the bones and reburied them there with the rest of their ancestors," explained Dr Jasem.

The graveyard also contained skeletons of animals, mainly goats and sheep.

He said all skeletons of animals have been transported to Germany for further study.

Day out: Time for Family

The Sharjah Archaeological Museum is located near Cultural Square, along Shaikh Rashid Bin Saqr Al Qasimi Road.

  • Daily: 9am-1pm and 5-8pm
  • Fridays: 5-8pm
  • Closed on Sundays
  • Entry fee: Adult Dh5;
  • Family: Dh10 (two adults and three children)
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