The UAE may only be 47 years old but people have been inhabiting this region for thousands of years.
Bedouin traditions are engrained in the culture of the UAE and new research into an archaeological site in Al Ain has given insight into how people in Abu Dhabi lived over 3,000 years ago.
The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCTA) has discovered methods of cooking, house-building techniques, the crops farmed and evidence of communal activities at the ancient settlement and UNESCO World Heritage site, Hili 2.
The site, originally excavated in the 1970s and '80s, features a number of well-preserved houses that formed an ancient village.
Among the most recent discoveries are tannour ovens, used for cooking and preparing communal meals, the presence of wheat and dates, stamped and marked pottery and evidence of bricks made from pre-formed moulds to construct walls.
Incredibly, despite being 3,000 years old, many of the bricks contain fingerprints and experts may be able to estimate how many people inhabited the village at the time of construction.
Commenting on the latest discoveries, Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, chairman of DCTA says: “The ancient people of Hili created a vibrant and successful society using techniques such as the falaj, which continue in use until this day.
“We have also gained insight into aspects of their day-to-day lives; the tools used to cook meals for their families and which crops they were tending to out in the fields.
“Our heritage has profound cultural value, not only at national level, but also at global level, and the discoveries at Hili 2 are especially valuable as it is one of the sites on the UNESCO World Heritage List, where we are working to preserve this heritage for humanity.
“The discoveries at Hili 2 bring previously unknown details about our past to light, for us and for future generations to marvel at, study and learn from.”
What a discovery.