Ancient pearling city unearthed on Dubai's Al Sinniyah Island

What is 'pearling' and why was an island dedicated to this practice in UAE?

Web Desk
Archaeologists in UAE discovered ancient sttlements on Al Sinniyah Island. — Unsplash

Archaeologists in the United Arab Emirates have recently discovered ancient sttlements on Al Sinniyah Island, a tourist hotspot about 42 miles northeast of Dubai, providing insights into the region's early history.

The discoveries were made through excavations, one of which wrapped up in March, centered on the ruins of an ancient pearling city, according to the country's Department of Tourism and Archaeology.

The Miami Herald reported that archeaologists suggest the site likely dates back to the fourth century, at least 1,600 years old, one to two centuries earlier than previously thought.

Have archaeologists found lost city of Tawam? — Instagram/@uaq_tad

Numerous large jars were discovered at the site, which had been imported from Mesopotamia, officials said. 

Two of the vessels bore Aramaic inscriptions that have been associated with the period from the first to the fourth century.

Archaeologists believe the ruins may be those of the lost city of Tawam, which is cited in historical sources, based on their findings.

What is 'pearling'?

Pearling refers to the practice of diving into the sea to recover pearls and other underwater organisms, a fixture of the region's culture for thousands of years, according to CNN, citing officials.

Pearling has been part of the region's culture for thousands of years. — Instagram/@uaq_tad

Photos show a series of stone walls situated near the shoreline. Seen from above, they appear to form numerous rectangular chambers. 

Excavations on the island, which have been undertaken the past four years, will likely continue, officials said.