Field Trip to Jabeeb 20 February 2004

Field Trip to Jabeeb 20 February 2004

Three vehicles drove to Jabeeb Friday morning for a return visit the camel training area, an Iron Age archaeological site, and the 'rich' dunes. Last autumn, a dozen vehicles made the trip and enjoyed a successful day of photography and 'dune picking'.

As in previous trips to this area, there were hundreds of camels leaving and returning to the farms. For the first time we observed dummy jockeys on some of the smaller camels. In the past, the youngest camels being trained were ridden by very small boys. As noted in other field trip reports, though small boys are no longer permitted to ride as jockeys in sanctioned races in the UAE, there were still many riding camels being trained.

As during previous trips to Jabeeb, we stopped for a photography opportunity at a spot where unspoilt dunes provide an ideal backdrop for photos. The surface of the dunes here were covered with animal tracks and many burrows.

The convoy moved on past the new reservoir tank, part of the water pipeline bringing desalinated water to Al Ain from the east coast. At the farms at the end of the hard track, the trucks switched to four-wheel drive and headed out across the sand to an Iron Age site added to the national registry just a couple of years ago. Not far away, Dr. Walid discovered an underground falaj system a few years ago, suggesting substantial habitation at one time.

The Iron Age site is a large flat area among the dunes, just off the track. On Friday's visit, in addition to countless pottery specimen observed but left at the site, the group found a perfect flint arrowhead. In the past, the only thing found beside pottery was a unique bead.

The group headed across the valley to the dunes on the opposite side, an area where many items have been found in the past.

The most interesting find last autumn was a perfect stone bead found by Kevin.

Stone bead
Photo by Ian Wilson

As in previous trips, Bob Reimer had a busy day, taking several hundred photographs as we had an exceptional day.

Among the items found:

  • three copper coins
  • a glass bead
  • a bronze arrowhead
  • a fishhook

These items will be shared with the Department of Antiquities and the archaeological conference being held in Al Ain later this month.

From left bronze arrowhead,
flint arrowhead, glass
bead, fish hook

From left reverse side of
bronze arrowhead, flint
arrowhead, glass bead,
fish hook

Three copper coins found
in the dune scours

Reverse side of
the three coins

On one visit to Jabeeb, the group recovered a nearly perfect child's bracelet and an original bead

Small bead (left) and child's bracelet

Reverse side of the small bead (left) and child's bracelet

One of our colleagues from Abu Dhabi has made several interesting finds at Jabeeb.

General view of area where he recovered a bronze arrowhead and located copper hearths

View of an "egg" discovered at the site

Close-up view of the "egg"


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