Clear Evidence of 4,000-Year-Old Trading Post Unearthed Near Abu Dhabi
A team of archaeologists has uncovered amazing evidence of a 4,000-year-old trading post on Sir Bani Yas island, off Abu Dhabi's coast. The excavations focused on a stone-constructed building at a site on the island's south-west coast.
“Stunning Evidence” of Millennia Trading Post
A team of archaeologists at a dig site on UAE’s Sir Bani Yas Island have discovered what they described as “stunning evidence” supporting the discovery of an estimated 4,000-year-old trading post, as the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) stated on Wednesday according to the reports of Heritage Daily . A respectable amount of fragmentary large jars were discovered inside the building. Experts estimate that the jars were created in Bahrain almost 4,000 years ago and belong to a period when the UAE, Bahrain, Iraq, and south Asia were involved in an enormous maritime trade, with the jars being transferred throughout the Arabian Gulf by ships.
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Part of the excavation site on Sir Bani Yas Credit: TCA Abu Dhabi
Further examination and analysis of the artifacts is about to be launched, even though preliminary results clearly show that pottery from Pakistan was also discovered. Additionally, bronze tools were found, pinpointing the significant role that the UAE played in the export of copper to its Bronze Age neighbor-states. Together, the artifacts and the impressive building imply that Sir Bani Yas was possibly part of a trade network that stretched from the Shatt Al Arab, a river in what is now southern Iraq, to India and the east. "Our recent excavation on Sir Bani Yas Island has rewritten our knowledge of contacts with the Bronze Age civilizations of the Arabian Gulf and beyond," TCA archaeologist Mr Al Meqbali says, as The National UAE reports . Interestingly, along with the bronze tools a well-preserved fish hook was also spotted by the archaeologists.
Finds Include the Dilmun Stamp Seal
The most important – from an archaeological point of view – of all finds the excavation “delivered”, however, is undoubtedly the Dilmun stamp seal: a very significant tool that merchants used in authorizing trade from the cultures that were flourishing at the time in modern-day Bahrain.
An example of a Dilmun Stamp seal, Middle Bronze Age ( Public Domain )
The Dilmun, one of the richest and oldest civilizations in the Gulf, expanded from Kuwait to Qatar and is best remembered due to its maritime prowess that allowed its people to dominate and control the trade routes linking Mesopotamia to the Orient.
"Holding this in our hands for the first time since a Bronze Age merchant had used it almost 4,000 years ago was a magical moment. The moment we saw those small stones, digging further, then when we discovered the artifact seal we realized it was very special. We also know the historical significance of a find this rare," Abdulla Al Kaabi, of Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority told The National UAE .
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Furthermore, Mr Al Kaabi and his colleague Ali Al Meqbali, added that the seal appears to depict an animal and a human-like figure under the Moon.
The team of archaeologists and experts plans to further examine the extremely significant find and then compare it with specimens discovered further north in the Gulf to determine the meaning and value of the stamp. According to The National UAE, the team intends to return to the site next year, while Mr. Al Kaabi and Mr. Al Meqbali are being very optimistic that more important artifacts are waiting to be discovered in the area.
Top image: Ali Al Meqbali and Abdulla Al Kaabi with Dilmun storage jar fragments unearthed from Sir Bani Yas. Credit: TCA Abu Dhabi