Al-Ashoosh

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The archaeological site of Al-Ashoosh is a third-millennium BC settlement located 70km south of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). It stands as a rare example of human occupation in the Rub' al Khali during the Umm al-Nar period. Archaeologists believe Al-Ashoosh was a seasonal settlement occupied by a hunter/pastoral community, probably occupying structures of perishable materials, during the second half of the third millennium BC (2500—2000 BC). It is thought the water table would have been higher, supporting inland settlement in what is now a plain and arid site [1] with a brackish well.[2] The site was used for the production of stone tools.[3]

The site[edit]

Dubai Municipality and the Sanisera Archaeology Institute conducted excavations at the site between November 2015 and May 2016. The site was discovered during two seasons of survey in 2002–2003 following the discovery of the nearby Iron Age metallurgical centre Saruq Al Hadid, and is located 8km from that site.[4]

Surveys in the area by Dubai Municipality and the Department of Antiquities of Jordan identified 33 archaeological sites ranging in date from prehistory to the late Islamic period. In 2006–2007, more-detailed archaeological investigations of the area of Al-Ashoosh were conducted, including survey, excavation and geological sampling.[5]

The site of Al-Ashoosh covers some 1.3 hectares and comprises a fenced area of low dunes surrounding a large tell, or mound, 1.5–2m in height. The site is divided into two distinct parts, dubbed areas A and B. Area A, the main area, covers some 350m² and represents a single-phase rubbish midden located on a natural sand dune. It has yielded a large amount of material including faunal remains, lithics, charcoal and a small quantity of pottery. There is no evidence of any structure at the site. Carbon dating of recovered materials dates the site to the Umm Al Nar period.[6]

50m to the south-west, Area B has revealed eight ovens, constructed of an irregular clay rings sloping down to bases of the structures that sit directly on the bedrock. These are thought to be a type of tannour. Almost 300kg of faunal remains were recovered during digs at Al-Ashoosh. [6]

Finds at the site include unusual seals with links to Dilmun, stone tools and pottery of the black-on-red Umm Al Nar type.[3]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Herrmann, Jason T.; Casana, Jesse; Qandil, Hussein Suleiman (2012-04-09). "A sequence of inland desert settlement in the Oman peninsula: 2008-2009 excavations at Saruq al-Hadid, Dubai, UAE". Arabian Archaeology and Epigraphy. 23 (1): 56. doi:10.1111/j.1600-0471.2011.00349.x. ISSN 0905-7196.
  2. ^ Arid land hydrogeology : in search of a solution to a threatened resource : proceedings of the 3rd UAE-Japan Symposium on Sustainable GCC Environment and Water Resources (EWR2006), 28-30 January 2006, Abu Dhabi, UAE. Mohamed, Abdel-Mohsen Onsy. London: Taylor & Francis. 2006. p. 25. ISBN 9780415411271. OCLC 76935788.
  3. ^ a b Contreras, F.; Carcacer, N.; Thomas, J.; Koljic, D.; Murray, M.; Bukhash, R. M.; Abbar, S. O. Al; Boraik, M.; Zein, H. M. (2016). "Al-Ashoosh: a third-millennium BC desert settlement in the United Arab Emirates". Antiquity. 90 (354). doi:10.15184/aqy.2016.219. ISSN 0003-598X.
  4. ^ Herrmann, Jason T.; Casana, Jesse; Qandil, Hussein Suleiman (2012-04-09). "A sequence of inland desert settlement in the Oman peninsula: 2008-2009 excavations at Saruq al-Hadid, Dubai, UAE". Arabian Archaeology and Epigraphy. 23 (1): 50–69. doi:10.1111/j.1600-0471.2011.00349.x. ISSN 0905-7196.
  5. ^ Contreras, F.; Carcacer, N.; Thomas, J.; Koljic, D.; Murray, M.; Bukhash, R. M.; Abbar, S. O. Al; Boraik, M.; Zein, H. M. (2016). "Al-Ashoosh: a third-millennium BC desert settlement in the United Arab Emirates". Antiquity. 90 (354): 1. doi:10.15184/aqy.2016.219. ISSN 0003-598X.
  6. ^ a b Contreras, F.; Carcacer, N.; Thomas, J.; Koljic, D.; Murray, M.; Bukhash, R. M.; Abbar, S. O. Al; Boraik, M.; Zein, H. M. (2016). "Al-Ashoosh: a third-millennium BC desert settlement in the United Arab Emirates". Antiquity. 90 (354): 3. doi:10.15184/aqy.2016.219. ISSN 0003-598X.