Archaeological excavations at Umm an-Nar Island 1959–2022


  • Ali Abdu Rahman Al Meqbali Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi
  • Daniel Eddisford Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi/Durham University


Umm an-Nar, Bronze Age, excavation, exchange, domestic architecture


The Early Bronze Age settlement and tombs on Umm an-Nar Island were first excavated between 1959 and 1965 by a Danish archaeology team, at the personal invitation of Sheikh Shakhbut bin Sultan Al Nahyan. Further excavations and reconstruction of the houses and tombs on the site were carried out by an Iraqi team between 1970 and 1975. Since 2020 the Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi has undertaken three seasons of archaeological fieldwork at the site, including excavation of the settlement and detailed recording of the site with a range of digital techniques. This paper presents the results of recent work undertaken at Umm an-Nar Island alongside the results of previous excavations at the site, in order to refine its chronology, better understand the local economy and everyday life on the island, and discuss the role that long-distance exchange played at the site.


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How to Cite

Al Meqbali, A. A. R., & Eddisford, D. (2024). Archaeological excavations at Umm an-Nar Island 1959–2022. Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies, 53, 150–164. Retrieved from

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