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Bronze Age Trading Post Found On Sir Bani Yas Island
(24 May 2017)


Excavations by Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) archaeologists have revealed stunning evidence for 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.

Inside the building a number of fragmentary large jars were found. These jars were made in Bahrain around 4,000 years ago and belong to a time when the UAE, Bahrain, Iraq, and south Asia were engaged in intensive maritime trade with the jars transported through the Arabian Gulf by ships. 

Although fragments of such pottery have been found before in the UAE, this is the first time that several complete examples have been discovered. Analysis of the artefacts is just beginning, but preliminary results indicate that pottery from Pakistan was also found. Bronze tools are also present, attesting to the important role that the UAE played in the export of copper to its Bronze Age neighbours. Along with the bronze tools is a well-preserved fish hook. 

One of the most remarkable finds was a stamp seal, probably made from steatite. This is an example of a famous ‘Dilmun Stamp Seal’. Dilmun was the ancient name for Bahrain and adjoining regions, and merchants used these stamps to authorise shipments of goods around the Arabian Gulf. A few examples have been found before in the UAE, but this is the first Dilmun stamp seal to be discovered from the Al Dhafra region of Abu Dhabi. 

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