Abu Dhabi: The Department of Culture and Tourism (DCT) in Abu Dhabi has recently disclosed a series of remarkable archaeological findings, including artefacts from the Iron Age and pre-Islamic eras. These discoveries were made during excavation work carried out for road and infrastructure upgrades, which led to the unearthing of a cemetery.
The ancient burial ground, located in a historic neighbourhood in Downtown Al Ain, revealed more than 20 graves. These tombs have yielded remarkably well-preserved historical items, including bronze bowls, glassware, and various other vessels. Among the significant finds were weapons such as arrows, spears, and even a fully intact sword measuring 70cm in length.
The existence of this cemetery suggests the likelihood of a contemporary settlement in close proximity, as evidenced by the presence of deep underground water channels. Further excavations along an 11.5 km stretch in three areas of Al Ain led to the discovery of additional treasures. These included an Iron Age cemetery featuring a monumental stone tomb and 35 graves.
Archaeologists also uncovered pre-Islamic tombs containing a cache of iron weaponry in another area adjacent to the border fence. Furthermore, over 50 ancient underground water channels, built using various techniques and spanning different historical periods, were found throughout the excavation sites.
Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of DCT Abu Dhabi, expressed excitement regarding these recent archaeological findings, highlighting the department’s ongoing commitment to uncovering and safeguarding the rich history of the emirate and the wider nation.
The discovered artefacts encompass a wide range, from ceramics used in funerary practises to soft stone vessels, jewellery, shells, metals, weapons, and various other objects found within the graves and tombs. Additionally, soil samples were collected from the site to provide further insights into the historical environment, including information about the types of crops cultivated during prehistoric times.
DCT Abu Dhabi continues to prioritise the protection and preservation of the city’s cultural heritage while aiming to enhance knowledge about the history of the UAE. These archaeological discoveries serve as valuable contributions to understanding and appreciating the nation’s past.