The pursuit to shed more light on the UAE’s ancient past continues as excavation work on an archaeological site in Al Ain recommences, following a 30-year hiatus.
Initially discovered and excavated by French archaeologists in the 1970s and 1980s, Hili 8, located near Hili Archaeological Park, became an area of interest after the site showed potential signs of date, wheat and barley cultivation activities around 5,000 years ago.
Unfortunately, the untimely passing of the chief archaeologist put the diggings to a halt, with the initial findings not being published as a result.
The discoveries, however, were instrumental in paving the way for the location to be recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Taking over the project, Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) is determined to build on the original discoveries to learn more about the agricultural methods applied by early settlers.
Using modern technology this time, the team applied a laser 3D system to accurately identify areas of interest. Microscopic plant remains were recovered and will be studied by an archaeobotanist.
Other interesting finds include animal remains, artefacts and ancient copper relics, which can help determine the beginning of copper trading and use in the country.
Work began last March and will continue again later this year. It’s hoped the findings at the site will support evidence that Hili 8 is one of the earliest places in the UAE that was home to an agricultural society, in contrast to previous inhabitants that lived a pastoral nomadic life.