Saturday, February 24, 2007


Unearthing a hidden past


Gulf News
By Khitam Al Amir
February 24, 2007

Sharjah: The UAE's rapid progress and social development are built upon its unique history, rich civilisation, heritage and deep-rooted culture.

Recent discoveries and excavations have shown that the UAE lies on a treasure of archaeological and historical sites, which prove that man lived along coastal areas thousands of years ago.

Among the archaeological and historical sites that the UAE is endowed with are: castles, forts, watchtowers and places of worship, WAM reported.

Coastal areas
By examining the findings of the excavations, archaeologists have discovered that the UAE has witnessed the settlement of human inhabitants dating back to the civilisations of Old Egypt and Meso-potamia - the Land of Two Rivers.

The country's coastal regions are considered to be of the most significant areas populated by humans, because they have archaeological and historical treasures that span the Stone Age, Bronze Age and Iron Age.

The historical study of those areas also provides important information about the environment of the UAE's coastal areas and is a crucial link to understanding patterns of human settlement thousands of years ago.

Although some areas are subject to extensive surveys and deep excavations, there are others that have still not received enough attention. More excavations and research are needed in order to put together a clearer picture of the country's rich history.

Among the areas needing more attention is Al Fisht village, which lies on the coast, one mile northeast of Sharjah.

Lost village
Researchers, travellers and books often mention it, but the question remains - what available information and facts about Al Fisht village can be extracted from the stories and tales told by forefathers to their children?

According to those tales, the village sank into the sea more than 30 years ago after it was hit by strong Shamal winds and high sea waves, causing its residents to move to Kalba, Umm Al Quwain and Ajman after their houses and farms were flooded.

This is an indication that there are many archaeological ruins that have sunk deep into the Gulf waters. Hence, Al Fisht village is just as important as other areas in which archaeologists have been tracing the earliest human settlements and historical sites.

This is important to consider since the absence of detailed information is often interpreted as a lack of history.

Those sunken treasures need to be unearthed by archaeologists and researchers who can help shed more light on the UAE's history and civilisation.


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