Oldest Decorative Artwork of UAE Discovered on Marawah Island

Archaeologists have dug up a repository of new artifacts on Marawah Island that have shed some fresh light on Abu Dhabi’s earliest-known settlement. Among the artifacts unearthed includes large numbers of stone arrowheads and richly decorated plaster vessel fragments are just some of recent discoveries on Marawah Island. In fact, the plaster fragments constitute the earliest known decorative art that has been discovered in the UAE.

The most recent exhumation, which was carried out by the specialist teams of the Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), starting from February to March this year – have exhibited new evidence on the architecture, art and technology of Abu Dhabi’s Neolithic dwellers.

The Marawah Island that lies just off the coast of Mirfa town, about 100 kilometres west of Abu Dhabi city, is the site of a Stone Age. It is 25kmn northwest of the port of Mirfa. The site of excavation is on the top of a rocky limestone plateau. It was first spotted in 1992 during an archaeological survey of the island, the site comprises of at least seven mounds that seems to be the remains of collapsed Neolithic stone structures. Since 2017, broadened exhumation has taken place at the site and these excavations have focused on the largest mound, disclosing the presence of numerous stone buildings. The fresh probe uncovered the entire extent of the mound with an important number of artifacts discovered.

Mohamed Al Mubarak, chairman of the DCT Abu Dhabi, stated that the discoveries present a remarkable evidence of a rich past.

The recently finished exhumation season successfully unearthed the full extent of this mound with an unusual range of artifacts. Radiocarbon dating of charcoal fragments from diverse layers reveals that the site was occupied between about 8,000 and 6,500 years ago.  

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