Sharjah to launch year-long archaeology exhibition

Archaeology museum to showcase tools of trade and finds from ancient Sharjah

Staff Report
14:56 June 21, 2017

Sharjah: The role of archaeologists in revealing the mysteries of Sharjah’s past is being celebrated through a year-long exhibition at Sharjah Archaeology Museum.

Opening this month, the Sharjah Archaeologists Exhibition provides visitors with an insight into how archaeologists excavate a site and document their finds.

Displays reveal their scientific working methods, as well as the commonly used tools of the trade, including trowels, measuring instruments, and notebooks.

Part of the exhibition is dedicated to actual finds made in Sharjah. These include a Roman glass-moulded bowl that originated in Dibba in 100AD, and a number of gold beads that were dated back to Maliha in the same period.

The exhibition is a tribute to a profession that has helped uncover the story of historical sites including Maliha, Sharjah’s ancient settlement. Even today, archaeologists continue to reveal aspects of ancient civilisations that are thousands of years old, including their culture and rituals, trade practices, social order, diet, and influence on pottery design, art and jewellery.

Manal Ataya, director-general of Sharjah Museums Department, said: “We are delighted to open the Sharjah Archaeologists Exhibition and draw attention to a profession that has done so much to piece together Sharjah’s ancient history.

“Sharjah is proud to be home to Maliha — one of the region’s most important archaeological sites. Thanks to the incredible skills and dedication of teams of archaeologists, we have been able to paint a picture of the civilisations that lived and settled in this area over thousands of years.”

The UAE’s ancient history was largely undocumented until about 50 years ago when archaeologists began excavation works at key sites. The evidence they found indicates human activities taking place from some 125,000 years ago.

The displays reveal the science behind excavating a site — how it is initially surveyed using photographs, maps and state-of-the-art monitoring devices.

Visitors will find out how items are marked with identification cards that show the discovery date and location, along with information including its shape and material. The steps taken to protect delicate finds — especially human skeletons from thousands of years ago — are also revealed.