Archaeological excavations at the settlement of al-Furayḥah (Freiha), north-west Qatar


  • Gareth Rees
  • Faisal Abdallah al-Naimi
  • Tobias Richter
  • Agnieszka Bystron
  • Alan Walmsley


Two seasons of excavation and survey at the late Islamic town of al-Furayhah (commonly, Freiha) in north-west Qatar are providing an insight into the development, occupation, and final abandonment of this once-prominent settlement. This paper presents the interim results of fieldwork, focusing first on the morphology of the town as a whole, followed by an analysis of the domestic and religious architecture. At its peak the town may have covered an area of 17.8 ha followed by a gradual southwards migration, the final phase of occupation being focused on the communal structures of the mosque and the fort. This long-term migration pattern is complemented by evidence of regular collapse and reconstruction in the mosque and domestic courtyard buildings. These may indicate short-term abandonment as well as fluctuations in the economy of the settlement and the region as a whole.





How to Cite

Rees, G., al-Naimi, F. A., Richter, T., Bystron, A., & Walmsley, A. (2012). Archaeological excavations at the settlement of al-Furayḥah (Freiha), north-west Qatar. Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies, 42, 319–331. Retrieved from

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