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Palaeolithic finds in Western Abu Dhabi
Att.Editors: The following item is from the Emirates News Agency (WAM)

ABU DHABI,Jul. 17 (WAM) - An important discovery of archaeological finds from the Palaeolithic period in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), has been announced by Mohammed Khalaf Al-Mazrouei, Director General of the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (ADACH).

The finds were identified by a team from the Authority and two visiting scholars. The discovery included stone artefacts of Levallois technique, an industry that was known during the Old Stone Age.

ADACH will be reporting the discovery at the annual Seminar for Arabian Studies, to be held at the British Museum in London between July 19 and 21 where the discovery will be discussed with international scholars. Several other papers dealing with the Palaeolithic of Arabia will be presented at the seminar.

Dr. Walid Yasin, Director of the Archaeology Division at ADACH, picked up the first distinctive artefact from a site in the Western Region of Abu Dhabi. In all, a number of flint cores and flakes showing evidence of working with the Levallois technique were collected from the site.

Artefacts of this type were first discovered in the nineteenth century at the archaeological site of Levallois, near Paris. Today, similar artefacts are known from Europe, Africa and Asia. In the Near East they are usually associated with Neanderthal man.

The Abu Dhabi artefacts, according to Dr. Ghanim Wahida, a specialist pre-historian from Cambridge University, UK, are believed to fall in the Middle Palaeolithic (150,000-35,000 years ago).

The significance of this major discovery “lies in the fact that it alters our understanding of the beginning of first human activities in Abu Dhabi which seem to go back to the Old Stone Age, as opposed to the New Stone Age some 7,500 years ago”, Yasin added.

The Western Region of Abu Dhabi has also produced fossils of mammals, reptiles, birds and fish from the Late Miocene date (6-8 million years ago), together with evidence of an ancient river, which indicate a prevailing wet climate.

Tools from the Palaeolithic period have also been found south of Dhaid, in Sharjah, by a joint team from the Sharjah Directorate of Antiquities and Germany’s University of Tubingen. (WAM) (END/2007)


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