Jebel Dhanna sites (JD)

 Contents page  List of Jebel Dhanna fauna

Adapted from 1:100,000 Sheet NG-39-167, 1988, United Arab Emirates

At some archaeological sites located on the flat-top of jebels, fossils were found by a German team (Vogt et al., 1989) collaborating on a survey with the Al Ain Museum in 1983. They recorded two sites in the Jebel Dhanna area, JD1 and JD3 and they collected vertebrates, wood and ostrich eggshell, now housed at the Al Ain Museum. We have continued use of their site numbering - JD4 onwards.

In 1990 we were able to drive along a track that passed through the centre of Jebel Dhanna, a salt diapir, where massive and contorted beds of evaporites are mixed with basement rocks - the so-called Hormuz Formation. Evidence that the Portugese mined sulphur from Jebel Dhanna in the 17th century has been found.

Jebel Dhanna is now a restricted area owing to the modernisation of the oil loading facility, the development of the oil tank "farm" and an increase in its security since 1991.

Site JD1 (N 24 08' 38.4" E 52 38' 05.5", ADCO GPS).

A few bone fragments collected here. The site is an un-named jebel immediately next to the road about 4 km north of the Jebel Dhanna/As Sila road junction.

JD1 looking north. The road is to the Dhafra Beach Hotel.
The western face of JD1.

There is no Site JD2.

Site JD3 (N 24 10' 31.1" E 52 34' 21.0")

JD3 is about 1km from Site JD4 (below). It is a west facing sea cliff the shore of which is now reclaimed and numerous shacks have been erected where there was once a rocky beach. Their water supply is gravity fed from two leaking glass fibre containers placed high on the Miocene cliff and a few metres laterally from the place where the second primate (Hill and Gundling, 1999) from the Arabian Peninsula was discovered in 1989. In 1991, when building work commenced, the ground had been broken up by vehicles to reveal teeth and jaw of a Hipparion mandible, described as the holotype of Hipparion abudhabiense (Eisenmann and Whybrow, 1999). In the same year, in the detritus pushed to one side of a newly bulldozed track, the proximal end of a hippopotamus humerus was collected and its other parts found the following year.



Lower left canine of ?male cercopithecid (see Hill and Gundling, 1999)
Humerus of Hexaprotodon aff. sahibiensis (see Gentry, 1999a)

Left mandibular fragment of indet. hyaenid (see Barry, 1999)
Internal views, right and left valves, of the freshwater mollusc Leguminaia (Leguminaia) sp. See Jeffery, 1999.
The site - once bare of foliage - from where the cercopithecid was collected. The new Jebel Dhanna Ferry terminal can just be seen through the trees; photo 1998.
An area of JD3 now reclaimed by plants watered by leaks from the tank - photo 1998. Site of the type of Hipparion abudhabiense found 1991.
JD3, marked with X, from the seaward side.   New desert rubbish. The salt dome of Jebel Dhannah in the distance.

Site JD4 (N 24 10' 42.6" E 52 34' 12.8")

A north facing cliff (formerly a sea cliff) within the area now used as the Dalma Island Ferry Terminal. The foreshore has been reclaimed since 1991 and about 2 metres of Miocene section are now buried. It is still an excellent and readily accessible exposure of the Baynunah Formation river gravels from which a horse tooth, one proboscidean bone, fragmented reptile and freshwater fish bones have been recovered.

Reclaimed fore-shore at foot of N facing "sea cliff". Baynunah Ftm. Underlying Shuwaihat Ftm. now obscured
Magnum of Stegotetrabelodon (Tassy, 1999) in situ in face of sea cliff.
Reclaimed foreshore with porta-mosque.

Site JD5 (N 24 10' 22.9" E 52 34' 38.5")

Once consisted of several hillocks lying to the east of power lines about 1 km east of JD3. Numerous reptile and fish bones had weathered out of soft, red sandstones (originally known as the "Rubbish site") but the area and the site itself has now been obliterated by the construction of a tarmac road to the de-salination plant on the coast.

"Rubbish site" in 1989. Whybrow stoops to find.   The "Rubbish site" was here - 1998. Di Clements, NHM, laments.

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