to become part of new Abu Dhabi Culture and Heritage Authority
ADIAS to become part of
new Abu Dhabi Culture and Heritage Authority
For those that may have missed the local press stories, the following summary outlines the responsibilities of the new Authority.
According to the terms of the new Law, the Authority: "will oversee intellectual and artistic activities in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and will also be responsible for maintaining, protecting, managing and promoting the cultural heritage of the Emirate through the following means:
- the evolving of cultural policies, plans and programmes and ensuring that such policies are implemented.
- undertaking projects designed to develop, promote and protect the cultural heritage of the Emirate and to make appropriate recommendations to the relevant authorities.
- organising and developing activities dealing with the heritage of the country as well as organising conferences, cultural shows, plastic arts exhibitions and other activities related to the activities of the National Library.
- organising study programmes and seminars and other intellectual, scientific and professional meetings in addition to the publication of research and studies in the field of culture and heritage.
- conserving historical, archaeological and heritage sites and buildings and preparing an inventory of cultural property and artefacts.
- carrying out of archaeological excavations, conserving archaeological artefacts and relics and issuing licences for excavations.
- supervising the work and activities of archaeological excavation teams and establishing a department to manage, develop and supervise museums and other buildings where cultural artefacts are housed.
- recommending laws and regulations to protect, promote and preserve cultural heritage.
- providing support for training and educational activities.
- developing human and cultural resources in the fields of documentation, management, archiving and preservation of cultural heritage.
- outlining general plans for the activities of museums, in addition to planning for exhibitions on heritage.
- checking for violations of and damage to the cultural heritage and antiquities of the emirate and taking the necessary legal action in association with the relevant authorities.
- providing support and assistance to bodies working in the field of the preservation, management and promotion of cultural heritage.
- exercising control over heritage and cultural property, whether public or private
- managing the National Library in such a way as to enrich and promote intellectual, artistic and scientific activities in Abu Dhabi through the provision of references, journals and periodicals in Arabic and other languages in various fields of knowledge.
- recording national history through the collection of documents, the registering of the heritage of the emirate and through the publication of works in this field.
The Authority will be governed
by a Board of Directors, consisting of a Chairman, a Deputy Chairman
and seven or more other members, whose powers will be specified in a
decision to be taken by the Abu Dhabi Executive Council.
The official inauguration
of the exhibition "Abu Dhabi 8 Million Years
Ago - Late Miocene Fossils from the Western Region" took place
on 26th November 2005.
Dhabi Islands Archaeological Survey, ADIAS, was selected as joint
winner, with the Environment Agency - Abu
Dhabi, EAD, of the Environmental Achievement of the Year Award presented
by the Gulf's leading construction industry journal, "Construction
Week." The Award was presented at a ceremony at the Fairmont
Hotel, Dubai, on 17th November, and covers the six member states of
the Gulf Co-Operation Council, GCC, the United Arab Emirates, Oman,
Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.
As a result of recent activities and publicity there has been a marked increase in the number of visitors to the ADIAS website. During October 2005 the site registered more than 162,127 hits from 29,331 unique visitors, an average of around 5,230 hits per day from 946 unique visitors. So far, three weeks into November, we have had 138,707 hits from 31,621 unique visitors, an average of around 6305 hits per day from 1437 unique visitors.
On the 15th November 2005 the website had a record number of visitors when there were 10,056 hits from 4,610 unique visitors!
New archaeological Work on Sadiyat
An initial archaeological survey of Sadiyat was carried out by ADIAS team member Dr Heiko Kallweit in June 2005. This identified a number of archaeological sites dating to the Late Islamic period in the north-east, central and south-eastern parts of the island.
In association with the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA), Dome Engineering and Parsons International, the project management consultants, an ADIAS team comprised of Dr. Mark Beech, Simon Aspinall and Suzan Al-Mutawa, visited Sadiyat on 20 November 2005. Visits were made to all the key archaeological sites on the island. A report was subsequently submitted to the relevant authority recommending that two key areas be fenced for their protection pending further archaeological work.
More archaeological Work planned for Umm az-Zamul and Marawah
A third season of archaeological work at Umm az-Zamul is planned this winter. Work will commence on 28th December and will continue until around 23 January 2006.
The aims this season are to complete the pick up and mapping of lithics at Khor Al Manahil, as well as undertaking archaeological excavations of selected features. Further surveying of adjacent areas will be also carried out to develop our understanding of the landscape history of the region.
A team from the Department of Archaeology at the University of York is due to undertake geophysical survey on Marawah island during the second half of February 2006. Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) will be used to survey the important Neolithic settlement site of MR11. This hopefully will shed light on the layout of the settlement and will help to inform future excavation strategies.
A second season of excavations
is planned at site MR11 during March 2006. The
aims this season will be to complete the excavation of the adjacent
rooms of the main building first identified during the March 2004 season.
Additional trenches will be made in other features at the site to test
the preservation of structures.
ADIAS team members have once again been active in giving lectures in Abu Dhabi.
On the 4th October, Dr Mark
Beech, ADIAS Senior Resident Archaeologist, gave a lecture to the Abu
Dhabi branch of the Emirates Natural History Group in Abu Dhabi,
entitled "Elephants in the Desert - Abu Dhabi 8 Million Years Ago:
The Story behind the Exhibition". He talked about the history of
work on Miocene fossils in Abu Dhabi including the more recent work
carried in Ruwais and Mleisa.
ADIAS to participate in
World Heritage Meeting
The review said "The authors give a detailed description of how and when gunpowder and cannons were introduced to the Arabian-Persian world and how the Portuguese, Dutch and British taught them their use. Sulphur - alongside charcoal and saltpetre was a main component of gunpowder. One needs to agree with the author that the hitherto unknown quantity of sulphur produced in Abu Dhabi was associated only with the production of gunpowder.
One is grateful to have such
a mining rarity so pleasantly presented. That the English vocabulary
for technical terms in mining rarely coincides with a rather detailed
and specific German terminology, cannot be blamed on the authors."
The following publications have been issued locally since the last ADIAS Occasional Newsletter.
Foreword by Sheikh Mohammed
bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Patron, Abu Dhabi
Islands Archaeological Survey (ADIAS);
Chapter 2 - Miocene Geology and Fossils of Abu Dhabi by John R. Stewart (pages 14-20);
Chapter 3 - The Late Miocene fossil site at Ruwais by Mark Beech (pages 21-33);
Chapter 4 - Conservation of Late Miocene fossils from Abu Dhabi by Nigel Larkin (pages 34-36);
Chapter 5 -The Fossil Trackway
at Mleisa by Will Higgs (pages 37-41);
Appendix 3 - The reconstruction
painting "Abu Dhabi 8 Million Years Ago" by Gemma Goodall
and Nigel Larkin (pages 60-62);
Bibliography: Books, Websites
& Scientific references (pages 66-68).
Emirates Heritage Vol.
1 - Proceedings of the 1st Annual Symposium on Recent Palaeontological
and Archaeological Discoveries in the Emirates, Al Ain.
This book, co-edited by the ADIAS Executive Director features two chapters by ADIAS staff.
Beech, M. and W. Higgs. A
New Late Miocene Fossil Site in Ruwais, Western Region of Abu Dhabi,
United Arab Emirates. Pages 5-20.
Higgs, W., A.Gardner and
M. Beech. A Fossil Proboscidean trackway at Mleisa, Western Region of
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Pages 21-27.
Other New Publications
Other papers written by ADIAS
staff which have recently been published include the following:
Beech, M. and E. Glover.
2005. The environment and economy of an Ubaid-related settlement on
Dalma island, United Arab Emirates. Paléorient 31/2: 101-111.
Hawker, R., D. Hull and O.
Rouhani. 2005. Wind-towers and pearl fishing: architectural signals
in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century Arabian Gulf. Antiquity
79 (No. 305 - Sept 2005): 625-635.
More news soon!