Indus Valley Civilisation
The Indus Valley Civilisation was a Bronze Age civilisation in the northwestern regions of the Indian subcontinent, lasting from 3300 BCE to 1300 BCE, in mature form from 2600 BCE to 1900 BCE. Along with ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia it was one of three early civilisations of the region comprising North Africa, West Asia and South Asia, of the three, the most widespread, its sites spanning an area stretching from northeast Afghanistan, through much of Pakistan, into western- and northwestern India, it flourished in the basins of the Indus River, which flows through the length of Pakistan, along a system of perennial monsoon-fed, rivers that once coursed in the vicinity of the seasonal Ghaggar-Hakra river in northwest India and eastern Pakistan. The civilisation's cities were noted for their urban planning, baked brick houses, elaborate drainage systems, water supply systems, clusters of large non-residential buildings, new techniques in handicraft and metallurgy; the large cities of Mohenjo-daro and Harappa likely grew to containing between 30,000 and 60,000 individuals, the civilisation itself during its florescence may have contained between one and five million individuals.
Gradual drying of the region's soil during the 3rd millennium BCE may have been the initial spur for the urbanisation associated with the civilisation, but also reduced the water supply enough to cause the civilisation's demise, to scatter its population eastward. The Indus civilisation is known as the Harappan Civilisation, after its type site, the first of its sites to be excavated early in the 20th century in what was the Punjab province of British India and now is Pakistan; the discovery of Harappa and soon afterwards Mohenjo-Daro was the culmination of work beginning in 1861 with the founding of the Archaeological Survey of India during the British Raj. There were however earlier and cultures called Early Harappan and Late Harappan in the same area. By 2002, over 1,000 Mature Harappan cities and settlements had been reported, of which just under a hundred had been excavated, there are only five major urban sites: Harappa, Mohenjo-daro, Ganeriwala in Cholistan and Rakhigarhi; the early Harappan cultures were preceded by local Neolithic agricultural villages, from which the river plains were populated.
The Harappan language is not directly attested, its affiliation is uncertain since the Indus script is still undeciphered. A relationship with the Dravidian or Elamo-Dravidian language family is favoured by a section of scholars; the Indus Valley Civilisation is named after the Indus river system in whose alluvial plains the early sites of the civilisation were identified and excavated. Following a tradition in archaeology, the civilisation is sometimes referred to as the Harappan, after its type site, the first site to be excavated in the 1920s. A section of scholars use the terms "Sarasvati culture", the "Sarasvati Civilisation", the "Indus-Sarasvati Civilisation" or the "Sindhu-Saraswati Civilisation", because they consider the Ghaggar-Hakra river to be the same as the Sarasvati, a river mentioned several times in the Rig Veda, a collection of ancient Sanskrit hymns composed in the second millennium BCE. However, recent geophysical research suggests that unlike the Sarasvati, whose descriptions in the Rig Veda are those of a snow-fed river, the Ghaggar-Hakra was a system of perennial monsoon-fed rivers, which became seasonal around the time that the civilisation diminished 4,000 years ago.
In addition, proponents of the Sarasvati nomenclature see a connection between the decline of the Indus civilisation and the rise of the Vedic civilisation on the Gangetic plain. The Indus civilization was contemporary with the other riverine civilisations of the ancient world: Egypt along the Nile, Mesopotamia in the lands watered by the Euphrates and the Tigris, China in the drainage basin of the Yellow River. By the time of its mature phase, the civilisation had spread over an area larger than the others, which included a core of 1,500 km up the alluvial plane of the Indus and its tributaries. In addition, there was a region with disparate flora and habitats, up to ten times as large, shaped culturally and economically by the Indus. Around 6500 BCE, agriculture emerged on the margins of the Indus alluvium. In the following millennia, settled life made inroads into the Indus plains, setting the stage for the growth of rural and urban human settlements; the more organized sedentary life in turn led to a net increase in the birth rate.
The large urban centres of Mohenjo-daro and Harappa likely grew to containing between 30,000 and 60,000 individuals, during the civilization's florescence, the population of the subcontinent grew to between 4–6 million people. During this period the death rate increased as well, for close living conditions of humans and domesticated animals led to an increase in contagious diseases. According to one estimate, the population of the Indus civilization at its peak may have been between one and five million; the Indus Valley Civilisation extended from Pakistan's Balochistan in the west to India's western Uttar Pradesh in the east, from northeastern Afghanistan in the north to India's Gujarat state in the south. The largest number
Wadi Suq culture
The Wadi Suq culture defines human settlement in the United Arab Emirates and Oman in the period from 2,000 to 1,300 BCE. It takes its name from a wadi, or waterway, west of Sohar in Oman and follows on from the Umm al-Nar culture. Although archaeologists have traditionally tended to view the differences in human settlements and burials between the Umm Al Nar and Wadi Suq periods as the result of major external disruption, contemporary opinion has moved towards a gradual change in human society, centred around more sophisticated approaches to animal husbandry the domestication of the camel, as well as changes in the surrounding trade and social environments; the transition between Umm Al Nar and Wadi Suq is thought to have taken some 200 years and more, with finds at the important Wadi Suq site of Tell Abraq in modern Umm Al Qawain showing evidence of the continuity of Umm al-Nar burials. Evidence of increased mobility among the population points to a gradual change in human habits rather than sudden change and important Wadi Suq era sites such as Tell Abraq, Ed Dur, Seih Al Harf and Kalba show an increasing sophistication in copper and bronze ware as well as trade links both east to the Indus Valley and west to Mesopotamia.
Wadi Suq era pottery is seen as more refined and distinctive, with finds of painted ware common, the development of soft-stone vessels. Studies of human remains from the period do point to a process of aridification taking place over the centuries contiguous between the Umm Al Nar and Wadi Suq periods, but do not support a sudden or cataclysmic movement or societal change rather a gradual shift in culture; the Wadi Suq people not only domesticated camels, but there is evidence they planted crops of wheat and dates. A gradual shift away from coastal to inland settlements took place through the period; some of the most obvious evidence of the change in human habits and society following the Umm Al Nar period can be found in the distinctive burials of the Wadi Suq people, notably in Shimal in Ras Al Khaimah where over 250 burial sites are located. In some cases, cut stone from Umm Al Nar burials has been used to build Wadi Suq graves. Wadi Suq burials are long chambers entered from the side and many have been found to have been used for subsequent burials.
Although Shimal has the most extensive Wadi Suq burials, grave sites are to be found throughout the UAE and Oman and vary from simple barrows to sophisticated structures. The notable Jebel Buhais burial ground, the oldest radiometrically dated burial site in the UAE, is an extensive necropolis, consisting of burial sites spanning the Stone, Iron and Hellenistic ages of human settlement in the UAE; the widespread area of burials exhibits a number of important Wadi Suq tombs, including a unique clover-leaf shaped burial chamber, but has no evidence of Umm Al Nar era burials, although there are burials representing eras, including the Hellenistic. The clover-shaped Wadi Suq period tomb at Jebel Buhais, BHS 66 stands as a unique piece of funerary architecture in the UAE. Wadi Suq era weaponry shows a marked increase in sophistication, with an explosion in metallurgy taking place in the region. A number of tombs have been found with hundreds of weapons and other metal artefacts and long swords and arrows became the predominant weapons.
Long swords found at Qattara, Qidfa and Bidaa bint Saud are double-edged and hilted. Light throwing spears marked the weaponry of the time. Many of these weapons were cast in bronze. One grave excavated in Shimal had no fewer than 18 fine bronze arrowheads. Another explosive growth industry in the Wadi Suq era was the production of soft-stone vessels. While in the preceding Umm al-Nar era these were distinctively decorated with dotted circles, they now gained incised patterns of lines and are found in some profusion; the relative wealth and growing metallurgical sophistication of the Wadi Suq people is displayed by finds of jewellery, including gold and electrum plaques depicting back to back animals. Ongoing links with both Dilmun and the Indus Valley have been demonstrated. List of Ancient Settlements in the UAE Archaeology of the United Arab Emirates
Carnelian is a brownish-red mineral used as a semi-precious gemstone. Similar to carnelian is sard, harder and darker. Both carnelian and sard are varieties of the silica mineral chalcedony colored by impurities of iron oxide; the color can vary ranging from pale orange to an intense almost-black coloration. It is most found in Brazil, India and Germany; the red variety of chalcedony has been known to be used as beads since the Early Neolithic in Bulgaria. The first faceted carnelian beads are described from the Varna Chalolithic necropolis; the bow drill was used to drill holes into carnelian in Mehrgarh between 4th-5th millennium BC. Carnelian was recovered from Bronze Age Minoan layers at Knossos on Crete in a form that demonstrated its use in decorative arts. Carnelian was used during Roman times to make engraved gems for signet or seal rings for imprinting a seal with wax on correspondence or other important documents. Hot wax does not stick to carnelian. Sard was used for Assyrian cylinder seals and Phoenician scarabs, early Greek and Etruscan gems.
The Hebrew odem, the first stone in the High Priest's breastplate, was a red stone sard but red jasper. In Revelation 4:3, the One seated on the heavenly throne seen in the vision of John the apostle is said to "look like jasper and'σαρδίῳ'", and it is in Revelation 21:20 as one of the precious stones in the foundations of the wall of the heavenly city. Although now the more common term, "carnelian" is a 16th-century corruption of the 14th-century word "cornelian". Cornelian, cognate with similar words in several Romance languages, comes from the Mediaeval Latin corneolus, itself derived from the Latin word cornum, the cornel cherry, whose translucent red fruits resemble the stone; the Oxford English Dictionary calls "carnelian" a perversion of "cornelian", by subsequent analogy with the Latin word caro, flesh. According to Pliny the Elder, sard derived its name from the city of Sardis in Lydia from which it came, according to others, may be related to the Persian word سرد sered, meaning yellowish red.
The names carnelian and sard are used interchangeably, but they can be used to describe distinct subvarieties. The general differences are as follows: All of these properties vary across a continuum, so the boundary between carnelian and sard is inherently blurry. Carnelian List of minerals Allchin, B. 1979. "The agate and carnelian industry of Western India and Pakistan". – In: South Asian Archaeology 1975. E. J. Brill, Leiden, 91–105. Beck, H. C. 1933. "Etched carnelian beads". – The Antiquaries Journal, 13, 4, 384–398. Bellina, B. 2003. "Beads, social change and interaction between India and South-east Asia". – Antiquity, 77, 296, 285–297. Brunet, O. 2009. "Bronze and Iron Age carnelian bead production in the UAE and Armenia: new perspectives". – Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies, 39, 57–68. Carter, A. K. L. Dussubieux. 2016. "Geologic provenience analysis of agate and carnelian beads using laser ablation-inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry: A case study from Iron Age Cambodia and Thailand".
– J. Archeol. Sci.: Reports, 6, 321–331. Cornaline de l'Inde. Des pratiques techniques de Cambay aux techno-systèmes de l'Indus. 2000. Éditions de la Maison des sciences de l'homme, Paris, 558 pp. Glover, I. 2001. "Cornaline de l'Inde. Des pratiques techniques de Cambay aux techno-systèmes de l'Indus. – Bulletin de l'Ecole française d'Extrême-Orient, 88, 376–381. Inizan, M.-L. 1999. "La cornaline de l’Indus à la Mésopotamie, production et circulation: la voie du Golfe au IIIe millénaire". – In: Cornaline et pierres précieuses. De Sumer à l'Islam, Musée du Louvre, Paris, 127–140. Insoll, T. D. A. Polya, K. Bhan, D. Irving, K. Jarvis. 2004. "Towards an understanding of the carnelian bead trade from Western India to sub-Saharan Africa: the application of UV-LA-ICP-MS to carnelian from Gujarat and West Africa". – J. Archaeol. Sci. 31, 8, 1161–1173. Kostov, R. I.. "Complex faceted and other carnelian beads from the Varna Chalcolithic necropolis: archaeogemmological analysis". Proceedings of the International Conference "Geology and Archaeomineralogy".
Sofia, 29–30 October 2008. Sofia: Publishing House "St. Ivan Rilski": 67–72. Mackay, E. 1933. "Decorated carnelian beads". – Man, 33, Sept. 143–146. Theunissen, R. 2007. "The agate and carnelian ornaments". – In: The Excavations of Noen U-Loke and Non Muang Kao. The Thai Fine Arts Department, Bangkok, 359–377. Mindat article on carnelian Mindat article on sard
Mesopotamia is a historical region of Western Asia situated within the Tigris–Euphrates river system, in modern days corresponding to most of Iraq, parts of Northern Saudi Arabia, the eastern parts of Syria, Southeastern Turkey, regions along the Turkish–Syrian and Iran–Iraq borders. The Sumerians and Akkadians dominated Mesopotamia from the beginning of written history to the fall of Babylon in 539 BC, when it was conquered by the Achaemenid Empire, it fell to Alexander the Great in 332 BC, after his death, it became part of the Greek Seleucid Empire. Around 150 BC, Mesopotamia was under the control of the Parthian Empire. Mesopotamia became a battleground between the Romans and Parthians, with western parts of Mesopotamia coming under ephemeral Roman control. In AD 226, the eastern regions of Mesopotamia fell to the Sassanid Persians; the division of Mesopotamia between Roman and Sassanid Empires lasted until the 7th century Muslim conquest of Persia of the Sasanian Empire and Muslim conquest of the Levant from Byzantines.
A number of neo-Assyrian and Christian native Mesopotamian states existed between the 1st century BC and 3rd century AD, including Adiabene and Hatra. Mesopotamia is the site of the earliest developments of the Neolithic Revolution from around 10,000 BC, it has been identified as having "inspired some of the most important developments in human history including the invention of the wheel, the planting of the first cereal crops and the development of cursive script, mathematics and agriculture". The regional toponym Mesopotamia comes from the ancient Greek root words μέσος "middle" and ποταμός "river" and translates to " between two/the rivers", it is used throughout the Greek Septuagint to translate the Aramaic equivalent Naharaim. An earlier Greek usage of the name Mesopotamia is evident from The Anabasis of Alexander, written in the late 2nd century AD, but refers to sources from the time of Alexander the Great. In the Anabasis, Mesopotamia was used to designate the land east of the Euphrates in north Syria.
The Aramaic term biritum/birit narim corresponded to a similar geographical concept. The term Mesopotamia was more applied to all the lands between the Euphrates and the Tigris, thereby incorporating not only parts of Syria but almost all of Iraq and southeastern Turkey; the neighbouring steppes to the west of the Euphrates and the western part of the Zagros Mountains are often included under the wider term Mesopotamia. A further distinction is made between Northern or Upper Mesopotamia and Southern or Lower Mesopotamia. Upper Mesopotamia known as the Jazira, is the area between the Euphrates and the Tigris from their sources down to Baghdad. Lower Mesopotamia is the area from Baghdad to the Persian Gulf and includes Kuwait and parts of western Iran. In modern academic usage, the term Mesopotamia also has a chronological connotation, it is used to designate the area until the Muslim conquests, with names like Syria and Iraq being used to describe the region after that date. It has been argued that these euphemisms are Eurocentric terms attributed to the region in the midst of various 19th-century Western encroachments.
Mesopotamia encompasses the land between the Euphrates and Tigris rivers, both of which have their headwaters in the Taurus Mountains. Both rivers are fed by numerous tributaries, the entire river system drains a vast mountainous region. Overland routes in Mesopotamia follow the Euphrates because the banks of the Tigris are steep and difficult; the climate of the region is semi-arid with a vast desert expanse in the north which gives way to a 15,000-square-kilometre region of marshes, mud flats, reed banks in the south. In the extreme south, the Euphrates and the Tigris empty into the Persian Gulf; the arid environment which ranges from the northern areas of rain-fed agriculture to the south where irrigation of agriculture is essential if a surplus energy returned on energy invested is to be obtained. This irrigation is aided by a high water table and by melting snows from the high peaks of the northern Zagros Mountains and from the Armenian Highlands, the source of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers that give the region its name.
The usefulness of irrigation depends upon the ability to mobilize sufficient labor for the construction and maintenance of canals, this, from the earliest period, has assisted the development of urban settlements and centralized systems of political authority. Agriculture throughout the region has been supplemented by nomadic pastoralism, where tent-dwelling nomads herded sheep and goats from the river pastures in the dry summer months, out into seasonal grazing lands on the desert fringe in the wet winter season; the area is lacking in building stone, precious metals and timber, so has relied upon long-distance trade of agricultural products to secure these items from outlying areas. In the marshlands to the south of the area, a complex water-borne fishing culture has existed since prehistoric times, has added to the cultural mix. Periodic breakdowns in the cultural system have occurred for a number of reasons; the demands for labor has from time to time led to population increases that push the limits of the ecological carrying capacity, should a period of climatic instability ensue, collapsing central government a
A windtower is a traditional Iranian architectural element to create natural ventilation in buildings. Windcatchers come in various designs: uni-directional, bi-directional, multi-directional; the devices were used in ancient Iranian architecture. Windcatchers remain present in Iran and can be found in traditional Persian-influenced architecture throughout the West Asia, including in the Arab states of the Persian Gulf and Afghanistan. Central Iran shows large diurnal temperature variation with an arid climate. Most buildings are constructed from thick ceramic with high insulation values. Towns centered on desert oases tend to be packed closely together with high walls and ceilings, maximizing shade at ground level; the heat of direct sunlight is minimized with small windows. The windcatcher's effectiveness had led to its routine use as a refrigerating device in Persian architecture. Many traditional water reservoirs are built with windcatchers that are capable of storing water at near freezing temperatures during summer months.
The evaporative cooling effect is strongest in the driest climates, such as on the Iranian plateau, leading to the ubiquitous use of windcatchers in drier areas such as Yazd, Kashan, Sirjan and Bam. A small windcatcher is called a shish-khan in traditional Persian architecture. Shish-khans can still be seen on top of other northern cities in Iran; these seem to function more as ventilators than as the temperature regulators seen in the central deserts of Iran. Windcatchers were used in traditional ancient Egyptian architecture. A painting depicting such a device has been found at the Pharaonic house of Neb-Ammun, which dates from the 19th Dynasty, c. 1300 BC. In Egypt the windcatchers are known as malqaf pl. malaaqef. Windcatchers tend to have four, or eight openings. In the city of Yazd, all windcatchers are four- or eight-sided; the construction of a windcatcher depends on the direction of airflow at that specific location: if the wind tends to blow from only one side, it is built with only one downwind opening.
This is the style most seen in Meybod, 50 kilometers from Yazd: the windcatchers are short and have a single opening. The windcatcher can function in three ways: directing airflow downward using direct wind entry, directing airflow upwards using a wind-assisted temperature gradient, or directing airflow upwards using a solar-assisted temperature gradient. One of the most common uses of the windcatcher is to cool the inside of the dwelling, it is a tall, capped tower with one face open at the top. This open side faces the prevailing wind, thus "catching" it, brings it down the tower into the heart of the building to maintain air flow, thus cooling the building interior, it does not cool the air itself, but rather relies on the rate of airflow to provide a cooling effect. Windcatchers have been employed in this manner for thousands of years. Windcatchers are used in combination with a qanat, or underground canal. In this method, the open side of the tower faces away from the direction of the prevailing wind.
By keeping only this tower open, air is drawn upwards using the Coandă effect. The pressure differential on one side of the building causes air to be drawn down into the passage on the other side; the hot air is brought down into the qanat tunnel and is cooled by coming into contact with the cool earth and cold water running through the qanat. The cooled air is drawn up through the windcatcher, again by the Coandă effect. On the whole, the cool air flows through the building, decreasing the structure's overall temperature; the effect is magnified by the evaporative cooling of water vapor when the air passes through the qanat water canal, as the water that evaporates in the canal has a large enthalpy of vaporization and, the dry air is humidified by the evaporated water from the canal before entering the building. In a windless environment or waterless house, a windcatcher functions as a solar chimney It creates a pressure gradient which allows hot air, less dense, to travel upwards and escape out the top.
This is compounded by the diurnal cycle, trapping cool air below. The temperature in such an environment cannot drop below the nightly low temperature; when coupled with thick adobe that exhibits good resistance against heat transmission, the windcatcher is able to chill lower-level spaces in mosques and houses in the middle of the day to frigid temperatures. Directing airflow upwards using wind-assisted or solar-produced temperature gradients has gained some ground in Western architecture, there are several commercial products using the name windcatcher; the windcatcher approach has been utilized in Western architecture, such as in the visitor center at Zion National Park, where it functions without the addition of mechanical devices in order to regulate temperature. Using aluminum for the windcatcher provides a more efficient capturing system, allowing for wind capture from multiple directions; the Kensington Oval cricket ground in Barbados and the Saint-Étienne Métropole's Zénith both use this method.
Qanat Solar chimney Solar updraft tower Vernacular architecture Yakhchal G. R Dehghan Kamaragi. "Badgirs, Persian Gulf". Bahadori, Mehdi N.. "Passive Cooling Systems in Iranian Architecture". Scientific American. 238: 144–154. Doi:10.1038/scientificamerican0278-144. Retrieved 2007-07-17. Bahadori, Mehdi N
The grunt sculpin or grunt-fish is the only member of the fish family Rhamphocottidae. It is native to temperate coastal waters of the North Pacific, from Japan to Alaska and south to California where it inhabits tide pools, rocky areas, sandy bottoms at depths of up to 165 metres, it uses its spiny pectoral fins to crawl over the sea floor. It grows up to 9 cm in length, it takes shelter in discarded bottles and cans, as well as the empty shells, such as those of the giant barnacle. During reproduction, the female chases a male into a rock crevice and keeps him there until she lays her eggs. "Rhamphocottus richardsonii". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 24 January 2006. Froese and Daniel Pauly, eds.. "Rhamphocottidae" in FishBase. February 2006 version. Froese and Pauly, eds.. "Rhamphocottus richardsonii" in FishBase. February 2006 version
Mleiha Archaeological Centre
Mleiha Archaeological Centre is a visitor centre and exhibition based around the history and archaeology of the areas surrounding the village of Mleiha in Sharjah, the United Arab Emirates. Built around a preserved Umm Al Nar era tomb, the centre details the excavations and discoveries made over the past 40 years at Mleiha and surrounding areas the important Faya North East find, which provides evidence that'anatomically modern humans' were in the Mleiha area between 130,000 and 120,000 years ago; these finds point to the spread of humanity from Africa across the Red Sea to the Persian Gulf region, onward to populate the world through Iran, India and Asia. The centre was opened on 24 January 2016 by the Ruler of Dr. Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi; the multi-phase eco-tourism development is intended in future to comprise accommodation, a campsite and an astronomical observatory, with a total investment of some UAE Dhs 250 million. It will include the development of a 450 km desert park; the centre is developed by the Sharjah Development Authority.
The widespread archaeological evidence unearthed throughout the Mleiha area dates back as far as the Palaeolithic period, some 130,000 years ago. This would place the habitation of the area within the time when it is thought anatomically modern human communities first left Africa and started to expand globally; as the last Ice Age gave way warmer climates and adjacent settlements have been found which point to Neolithic communities who lived there from 11,000 years ago, with finds of tools at the location consistent with the Neolithic Ubaid or Arabian Bifacial tradition of 5,000-3,100 BCE. Civilization evolved during the succeeding Bronze Age from 3,000 BCE onwards, with elaborate communal tombs found at Mleiha, including the Umm Al Nar tomb, a feature is notable by its absence at the nearby necropolis of Jebel Buhais which otherwise represents uninterrupted evidence of human burial throughout the known periods of human settlement in the area; the centuries that followed witnessed the introduction of the underground falaj irrigation system and the cultivation of dates and other cereal crops.
An extensive fortified compound,'Mleiha Fort', nearby the site of the present archaeological centre, was discovered in the late 1990s and is thought to have been the seat of an ancient South Arabian kingdom dating back to 300 BCE. The period from 300–0 BCE has been dubbed both the Mleiha period and the Late Pre-Islamic period, follows on from the dissolution of Darius III's Persian empire. Although the era has been called Hellenistic, Alexander the Great's conquests went no further than Persia and he left Arabia untouched. Mleiha is linked to the Ancient Near Eastern city of Ed-Dur on the UAE's west coast. Macedonian-style coinage unearthed at Ed-Dur dates back to Alexander the Great. Hundreds of coins were found both there and at Mleiha featuring a head of Heracles and a seated Zeus on the obverse, bearing the name of Abi'el in Aramaic; these coins match moulds found at Mleiha which, together with finds of slag at the site, suggests the existence of a metallurgical centre. Contemporary Greek manuscripts have given the exports from Ed-Dur as'pearls, purple dye, wine and slaves, a great quantity of dates' and there is a strong history of trade between the coast and the interior.
Similarities in burial rituals — of laying animals to rest with their owners — and vessels and small bronze snake figures have been unearthed. Camels buried with their heads reversed are a common feature of both the animal burials at Ed-Dur and inland Mleiha. Mleiha represents the most complete evidence of human settlement and community from the post-Iron Age era in the UAE. A thriving agrarian community benefited from the protection of the Mleiha Fort, it was here, during this period, that the most complete evidence of early iron usage in the UAE has been found, including nails, long swords and arrowheads as well as evidence of slag from smelting. Visitor facilities at the archaeological centre include the Bystro Café, a gift shop and a range of guided excursions. Tours are offered from the Centre to nearby attractions, including the popular'Fossil Rock', or Jebel Mleiha. A range of horse-riding activities target beginners as well as advanced riders; the centre has an education outreach program and offers discovery packages for families, as well as hosting groups and corporate events.
Under development at the centre site, the Al Faya Lodge is a small collection of luxury hotel rooms with a café, pool and spa, based around outbuildings first constructed in the 1960s. The Lodge forms part of'The Sharjah Collection', a range of boutique hospitality locations managed by Mantis Hotels, a joint venture between Shurooq and Mantis Hospitality. One of a number of innovations being deployed to maintain the eco-tourism aspect of the centre is'spray on roads'; the centre is open to the public weekdays from weekends from 9am-9pm. List of Ancient Settlements in the UAE Iron Age in the United Arab Emirates