Wed 10-05-2017 19:00 PM

Ed-Dur Site a witness to ancient civilisation and rich history in the UAE

UMM AL QAIWAIN, 10th May, 2017 (WAM) -- Archaeological evidence has proven that the UAE and its ancient civilisations have existed since the dawn of history.

The UAE prioritises archaeological excavation and preservation for its role in the country’s development and has unearthed hundreds of archaeological sites built by the nation's ancestors. This archaeological heritage is a source of pride for the UAE, whereby preservation efforts link the present and future generations to the country's history that dates back to a few thousand years.

The Ed-Dur Site is an example of this heritage. Considered as one of the main archaeological sites in the UAE and the Arabian Gulf region, the temple dates back to the Early to Middle Bronze Age and lasting until the third century AD. According to UNESCO, evidence suggests the presence of various periods of human settlement on the site, including Obeid, the Bronze Age, Stone Age, Iron Age, and Pre-Islamic periods. The main human settlement period on the site is from the first century BC until the third century AD, where the site was an important port on the maritime commerce road between the East and West.

The ancient heritage site is located in the north of Umm Al Qaiwain, east of the main highway running from Sharjah to Ras al-Khaimah, is 120 kilometres away from the Strait of Hormuz and overlooks Al Beidha Lake.

The site was discovered in 1973 and includes several architectural elements built from maritime rocks, including the Ed-Dur temple discovered by a Belgian expedition in 1987. UNESCO World Heritage website classifies the temple as "the only temple in the Gulf region for the 'God Sun' whose worship was widespread during the first century".

Speaking on the restoration of Ed-Dur, Aliaa Mohamed Rashid Al Ghafli, Head of Antiquities and Heritage Department in Umm Al Qaiwain, said that the department has cooperated with the National Council for Tourism and Antiquities, the Ministry of Infrastructure Development and the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property in Sharjah for the temple's restoration.

She added that the temple is considered one of the main archaeological sites in the Arabian Gulf, and highlighted the need for urgent intervention due to damage incurred from erosion.