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Thread: The Historical and Cultural Heritage of Arabia

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Akira View Post
    Middle East has fascinating history and amazing beauty. One thing it lacks though compared to India is wildlife.
    Hard to compare anywhere to a place with tropical rain forests, even North America isn't nearly as diverse, but there are places like Indonesia and Malaysia that are even more diverse, the Earth is a wonder.


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    Quote Originally Posted by PaleoEuropean View Post
    Hard to compare anywhere to a place with tropical rain forests, even North America isn't nearly as diverse, but there are places like Indonesia and Malaysia that are even more diverse, the Earth is a wonder.
    There aren't many tropical rainforests in the country but I know what you mean. It can support that vast array. Still, whatever the reason its nice to have biodiversity around.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Feiichy View Post
    wow, amazing
    Middle east is very interesting and fascinating region for me.
    Thanks darling

    I've added some more Arabian archaeological sites here.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toppo900 View Post
    The ancient Semitic city of Qaryat al-Faw:


    The city was a Semitic multi-ethnic city where Arabs and other Central Semites like Sabaeans, Maneans and etc lived.


    Hercules Statue Is Not Semitic
    Last edited by renaissance12; 11-08-2019 at 03:28 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by renaissance12 View Post
    Hercules Statue Is Not Semitic
    Hercules is not a Semitic god but it was worshiped in the city, and yes, the statue was locally made in the city.
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    More pictures of Qaryat al-Faw:






    United Arab Emirates:

    Tell Abraq
    Tell Abraq was an ancient Near Eastern city. Located on the border between Sharjah and Umm al-Qawain in the United Arab Emirates, the city was originally on the coastline of the Persian Gulf but changing sea levels have placed the remains of the city inland. It is located on the main road from Umm Al Qawain to Falaj Al Moalla.

    The mound containing the ruins of Tell Abraq was originally excavated by a team from the University of Copenhagen working on the extensive remains of the city of Ed-Dur, a few kilometres to the north. Their original intention was to confirm the time sequence prior to Ed-Dur's primacy, around 1,000 BCE. However, they were surprised to find extensive indications of much earlier settlement, dating back to the Umm Al Nar period, including a 3rd millennium monumental fortification.

    Tell Abraq has been cited as being the "best preserved and largest prehistoric settlement in the Lower Gulf" [1] and is thought to be one of the key locations of the area the Mesopotamians knew as 'Magan'.[2]
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tell_Abraq




    Saruq Al Hadid
    The Saruq Al Hadid site is considered to have been a centre of constant human habitation, trade and metallurgy from the Umm Al Nar period (2600–2000 BCE) to the Iron Age (1,000 BCE), when it was a major location for smelting bronze, copper and Iron.[2] Arguably its most important period of flourishing was as a metallurgical centre in the Iron Age II period (1100–600 BCE). One of the many thousands of finds to be documented at the site was an ornate gold ring, which became the inspiration for Dubai's Expo 2020 logo.[3]

    An abundance of pottery and metal artifacts have given rise to speculation of possibly identifying the site as a centre of snake worship. In all, over 12,000 unique objects have been unearthed at the site.[4] A number of key finds are on public display at Dubai's Saruq Al Hadid Archaeology Museum in Al Shindagha, housed in a traditional barjeel (wind tower) building constructed in 1928 by Sheikh Juma bin Maktoum Al Maktoum.[5]

    The site, a millennia-old hub for manufacturing and trade, has been linked to Dubai's present role as a global trading hub.[6]
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saruq_Al_Hadid





    Societal changes in Bronze Age Arabia... here’s the tooth in the matter
    A recent study of mandibular first molars found Ras Al Khaimah’s prehistoric tombs by the bioarchaeologist Lesley Gregoricka shows a more gradual change to society than a complete social collapse, suggesting that a return to a mobile lifestyle was a deliberate decision.


    In the late third millenium BC, society in south-eastern Arabia began to change.

    The environment grew extremely arid and trade with Mesopotamia was in decline.

    People began to abandon settlements, leave palm gardens and, supposedly, return to a mobile lifestyle.

    The Bronze Age transition from the Umm An Nar (2700 to 2000 BC) to the Wadi Suq (2000 to 1300 BC) period is hotly debated by archaeologists.

    The popular view is that external forces – such as acute climate change and the breakdown of trade between regions – caused people to leave Umm An Nar centres and form smaller, more mobile communities in the early second millennium.

    Dramatic changes in the archaeological record suggest people adjusted to climate change with a sudden shift.

    The Wadi Suq period is portrayed as one of social collapse and cultural isolation.

    But teeth from Ras Al Khaimah’s prehistoric tombs tell a different story.

    A recent study of mandibular, or jawbone, first molars by the bioarchaeologist Lesley Gregoricka shows a more gradual change, suggesting that dispersal was a deliberate decision.

    Prof Gregoricka’s analysis of strontium, carbon and oxygen isotope ratios show homogeneity in mobility and diet, indicating continuity instead of collapse between the late third to early second millennium BC.

    Societal changes, she said, may have been an “equal or even more powerful” motivator for dispersal than climate change during this period.

    Her study, Human Response to Climate Change during the Umm an-Nar/Wadi Suq Transition in the United Arab Emirates, was published online in the International Journal of Osteoarchaeology this month.

    “I think the idea that Bronze Age peoples were capable of successfully adapting to their changing surroundings is one that is gaining traction among archaeologists working in this region,” said Prof Gregoricka, of the University of South Alabama.

    “Rather than viewing these ancient communities as passive players whose behaviour was dictated solely by external forces like climate, we instead see them actively reacting to and coping with both environmental and social stress.”

    Prof Gregoricka deciphers history with stable isotopes, biogeochemical signatures embedded in bones and teeth.

    Stable strontium, oxygen and carbon isotopes from human and animal skeletal remains hold important clues about residential mobility, migration, trade networks and diet.

    For this study, she examined teeth from 32 people from the Shimal necropolis, 8 kilometres north-east of Ras Al Khaimah city, near the modern-day village of Shimal.

    The tombs, part of the protected Shimal Archaeological Park, are one of the most significant Middle Bronze Age centres in Arabia.

    The population may have left Umm An Nar centres because of a food or water shortage. Extreme regional aridity started around 2200BC.

    Equally, it may have been to prevent violence or to avoid developing hierarchies like those of Mesopotamia and the Indus Valley.

    Hierarchies had already started developing in the early Umm An Nar period, as shown by enormous tombs that required extensive effort and organised labour to build and maintain.

    “This kind of organisation is typically not possible without a developed social hierarchy, where [in a most basic sense] we have managers of large, communal projects and labourers,” said Prof Gregoricka.

    A possible conflict between a growing elite and traditional kin-based organisation was likely worsened by fewer available resources.

    “These groups were engaged in interregional trade networks with the city-states of Mesopotamia and the Indus Valley Civilisation, both of which exhibited urban development and social hierarchies on a scale far beyond what we see in the UAE,” she said.

    “The inhabitants of the UAE during the third and second millennia BC would have been familiar with these places but, rather than emulating them and continuing to develop hierarchies as had taken place in Mesopotamia and the Indus Valley, they seem to have chosen a different path.”

    Prof Gregoricka’s findings support a growing body of work by prominent and respected Arabian archaeologists.

    “Decades of research in Arabia have highlighted the fact that many of the communities that lived there did not embark on the march towards state-level complexity, but rather maintained a society based upon cohesion,” said Peter Magee, a professor of archaeology and director of Middle East studies at Philadelphia’s Bryn Mawr College.

    The research by Prof Gregoricka and her colleagues is of “immense importance” and supports a boarder emerging pattern indicating gradual change in the transition.

    “This is important because it highlights the fact that local people exercised agency and flexibility in the manner in which they interacted with the environment,” said Prof Magee. “Their economy and social structures were not just reliant on external trade, which around 2000 BC seem to have been truncated in some way, but rather had developed in a robust fashion since the Neolithic 5,000 years earlier.”

    The social structure, he says, was resilient.

    Mark Beech, head of the coastal heritage and palaeontology section at Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority, stressed that several factors would have influenced the transition.

    “My impression is that often the transitions between different chronological periods are more subtle and gradual than previously believed,” he said.

    “We have many gaps in the archaeological evidence which we are still trying to fill with new discoveries. The whole question of cultural continuity between the Umm An Nar and Wadi Suq period is very much a topic for debate.”

    The Bronze Age population left little behind to tell us about their lives. But what they did leave were monumental tombs.

    Some mass graves were used for generations.

    Umm An Nar tombs such as those at Shimal were typically used for 200 years and contain hundreds of bodies, making traditional analysis on fragmented and co-mingled skeletal remains difficult.

    It is certain that Umm An Nar and Wadi Suq periods had very different subsistence strategies, social organisation, exchange systems and mortuary practices.

    The transition saw a shift from sedentary date palm horticulture to mobile pastoralism and coastal foraging. The question is, how mobile did they become?

    Evidence indicates that south-eastern Arabia, once a major provider of copper to Mesopotamia, lost its trade importance to Dilmun, in the western Arabian Gulf, about 2000 BC. Copper mining declined.

    Mortuary practices also changed. Circular, above-ground tombs with hundreds of individuals of the Umm An Nar period were replaced in the Wadi Suq period with cairns of different shapes and sizes, used for shorter periods.

    Some communities, like those at Tell Abraq, maintained the Umm An Nar lifestyle for next 200 years, perhaps because of ample marine resources.

    But by about 2000 BC, previously settled areas were no longer able to sustain large populations because of a lack of fresh water. Settlements dispersed, decreasing in size and number.

    The new study corresponds to earlier findings by Prof Gregoricka on strontium and oxygen isotope analyses that show limited changes in mobility for Bronze Age communities during the transition in the same area.

    In a paper on residential mobility, she found people from six tombs had little isotopic variability, indicating that most people stayed where they were.

    Teeth from three immigrants, indicated by different strontium values, show the area was not as isolated as previously thought and trade continued, though it had significantly decreased.

    “Instead of viewing this period as one of ‘collapse’, we should frame these changes as an active response by human populations to cope with environmental stress through adaptive innovation,” the study says.
    https://www.thenational.ae/uae/socie...=5713481783001

    Archaeology of Oman - my birth place:

    Khor Rori
    Khor Rorī (Arabic: خور روري‎) is an ancient south Arabian archaeological site near Salalah, Oman. The fortified city was founded as an outpost for the kingdom of Hadhramaut (Hadramautic ������������ ḥḍrmwt) at the end of the first century BC, initially it was founded primarily with defensive function then developed later into a city in the first century AD.[1] The foundation of the city by the king of Hardamaut is closely associated with rising importance of sea trade at the end of the first century BC between the Mediterranean and India. In this period, the Hadrami kingdom was economically and politically dependent on its ability to control the coastal region.[1]
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khor_Rori




    Early Iron Age
    1300 - 300 BC: Known from different cemetery and copper producing sites especially the fort on the Jebel Radhania, Lizq and the fort at Salut. This period is known from some 142 archaeological sites (or 161, depending on how one counts) located in the eastern part of the United Arab Emirates as well as the Central and northern parts of the Sultanate of Oman. The nomenclature for the period is more controversial than the actual chronology. One scholar in particular offered the most concrete argumentation for a gradual transition as a model from the Early to Late Iron Ages at certain sites in Central Oman[13].

    Usually hand-made, hard-fired pottery. The pottery from the Lizq fort is most similar to that from the latest Early Iron Age sites at al-Moyassar and Samad al-Shan. In terms of pottery chronology, its beginnings there are obscure.[14]

    An important connection with the outside world comes to bear in a cuneiform inscription (640 BCE) of the Neo-Assyrian king Assurbanipal. He mentions emissaries sent by a king by the name of Pade who resides in Izki in the land of Qade.[16] It yielded to date nearly 700 metallic artefacts. The introduction of the falaj for irrigation coincides with the rapid growth of date as a main crop. The chronology for this age resembles but also differs from the better known one of the present-day U.A.E. During this Iron Age paradoxically in Oman iron artefacts are rather rare, although in neighbouring Iran after 1200 BC iron weapons are characteristic. Pre-Arabic place-names such as Bidbid, Izki, Ṣuḥar and ʿIbri probably represent the bare remnants of the language and speakers of this and the next age.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archae...Early_Iron_Age






    3d reconstruction of the extra muros temple of Sumhuram (in Oman). The temple is composed of large chamber, an antechamber, and two small service rooms. Its plan and architecture, though differs from Hadrami temples in some aspects, fits widely attested tradition from Hadramawt.





    I'll do the Nabatean Arabs next.
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    Nabateans had a very advanced civilization, the nabatean archeological area is probably one of the richest of the Levant, and archeologists are still exacavating and discovering new objects ! People often think that Nabatean only built the Khazneh

    They built that also :






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    The ancient Nabateans of Jordan, Southern Israel and North-Western Arabia.
    The Nabataeans, also Nabateans (/ˌnbəˈtiːənz/; Arabic: ٱلْأَنْبَاط‎ al-ʾAnbāṭ , compare Ancient Greek: Ναβαταῖος, Latin: Nabataeus), were an Arab[1][2][3][4][5][6][7] people who inhabited northern Arabia and the Southern Levant in antiquity. Their settlements, most prominently the assumed capital city of Raqmu (present-day Petra, Jordan),[1] gave the name of Nabatene to the borderland between Arabia and Syria, from the Euphrates to the Red Sea. Their loosely controlled trading network, which centered on strings of oases that they controlled, where agriculture was intensively practiced in limited areas, and on the routes that linked them, had no securely defined boundaries in the surrounding desert. They maintained territorial independence from their emergence in the 4th century BC until Nabataea was conquered by Trajan in 106 AD, annexing it to the Roman Empire. Nabataeans' individual culture, easily identified by their characteristic finely potted painted ceramics, was adopted into the larger Greco-Roman culture. They were later converted to Christianity during the Byzantine Era. Jane Taylor, a writer, describes them as "one of the most gifted peoples of the ancient world".[8]

    The Nabataeans were one among several nomadic tribes who roamed the Arabian Desert, moving with their herds to wherever they could find pasture and water. These nomads became familiar with their area as seasons passed, and they struggled to survive during bad years when seasonal rainfall diminished.[8] Although the Nabataeans were initially embedded in Aramaic culture, modern scholars reject theories about their having Aramean roots. Instead, historical, religious and linguistic evidence identifies them as a northern Arabian tribe.[9]

    The Nabataeans spoke a form of Arabic. For their inscriptions, however, they used the Aramaic under heavy influence from Arabic forms and words demonstrated in numerous Nabataean inscriptions, which reflect the local tongue of the Nabataeans.[23] For medium and mutually comprehensive communication with Middle Eastern ethnic groups the Nabataeans, like their neighbours, had to rely on Aramaic as a bridge between the different polities of the region.[18] Therefore, Aramaic was used for commercial and official purposes across the Nabataean political sphere.[24] The Nabataean alphabet itself also developed out of the Aramaic alphabet, although it used a distinctive cursive script from which the Arabic alphabet emerged. There are different opinions concerning the development of the Arabic script. J. Starcky considers the Lakhmids' Syriac form script as a probable candidate.[25] However John F. Healey states that: "The Nabataean origin of the Arabic script is now almost universally accepted".[25]

    While the principal inscriptional language of the Nabataeans was Aramaic, the lingua franca of the time, the Nabataeans were, however, Arabic speakers.[26] In surviving Nabataean documents, Aramaic legal terms are followed by their equivalents in Arabic. This could suggest that the Nabataeans used Arabic in their legal proceedings, but recorded them in Aramaic.[27]
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nabataeans










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    Quote Originally Posted by Samnium View Post
    Nabateans had a very advanced civilization, the nabatean archeological area is probably one of the richest of the Levant, and archeologists are still exacavating and discovering new objects ! People often think that Nabatean only built the Khazneh

    ...
    And they were Arabs
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    What's interesting is that they adopted greco-roman iconography and culture somewhat but only for arts. They seem to have preserved their traditions and customs despite accepting this greco-roman influence.

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