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 Seventh century Islamic dwelling in Qatar - Al Wakrah

Archaeologists Discover Rare Seventh century Islamic dwelling in Qatar

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Archaeologists have stumbled upon a rare find in the south of Al Wakrah, Qatar – the remains of a well-preserved seventh century Islamic dwelling .  Radiocarbon dating suggests that the house was built between 600 and 630 AD and was in use for around 100 years.

The finding, which occurred just one kilometre from the coastline, was made 6 months ago but its immediate importance was not immediately clear as very little was visible on the surface and excavation work was needed to discover exactly what the structure was.

After thick deposits of sand and rubble were removed, the outline of the ancient dwelling emerged, revealing three large rooms, one of which was divided into a smaller, private room.  The walls had been built from flat slabs of beach rock and mud-mortar.  The careful excavation process also uncovered several hearths with fragments of pottery, fish bones and shellfish.

 “This evidence helps us to understand what the people who lived here were eating and how they were preparing food.  All of the excavated material was sieved, in order to recover even the smallest of artefacts, which included tiny fish bones and small marine molluscs” explained Fatima Merekhan, a team member from the Qatar Museums Authority (QMA).

Interestingly, the dwelling appears to have sat on the coastline entirely on its own, with no surrounding neighbours, as no evidence has been found of other structural remains in the area.

“Sites of this period are extremely rare, not just in Qatar but in the Gulf region” said Faisal al-Naim, Head of Antiquities at the QMA. The finding adds to the growing understanding of the country’s heritage and helps archaeologists to protect areas of historical significance from the rapid development and large-scale infrastructure projects taking places in the Qatar.

By April Holloway

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