Renewed research at the Iron Age II site of Hili 2 (Emirate of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates)

Authors

  • Steve Karacic
  • Ali Al Meqbali Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi
  • Abdulla Al Kaabi Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi
  • Dia Altawallbeh Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi
  • Hamad Fadel Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi
  • Peter Magee Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi

Keywords:

Iron Age, architecture, southeastern arabia, seals, radiocarbon date

Abstract

The site of Hili 2 (Emirate of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates) was first excavated in 1976 and remains to this day one of the best preserved examples of Iron Age II (c. 1100-600 BCE) architecture in southeastern Arabia. The Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi renewed research at this important site in 2018, combining targeted excavation and an overall re-evaluation of the standing architecture with the results of new radiocarbon dates. This paper presents the excavations of Structures 14 and 15 as well as the results of the stratigraphic investigations for Structures 2 and 13. Radiocarbon samples were analysed from each of these buildings, providing the first absolute dates for Hili 2. Our findings point to two phases of occupation that fall between 1000 BCE and 800 BCE, expanding upon what is known from Hili 2.

References

Benoist A. 2010. Authority and religion in South East Arabia during the Iron Age: A review of architecture and material from columned halls and cultic sites. Pages 109–141 in A. Avanzini (ed.), Eastern Arabia in the first millennium BC. (Arabia Antica, 6). Rome: L’Erma di Bretschneider.

Benoist A. & Méry S. 2012. Initial results from the programme of petrographic analysis of Iron Age pottery from the United Arab Emirates. Arabian Archaeology and Epigraphy 23/1: 70–91.

Boraik M., David-Cuny H., Mahmoud A. & Yousef Y. 2018. Saruq al-Hadid: Seals from the sand. Paper delivered at the Archaeology conference, Al Ain. [Unpublished.]

Boucharlat R. & Lombard P. 1985. The oasis of Al Ain in the Iron Age. Excavations at Rumeilah 1981–1983. Survey at Hili-14. Archaeology in the U.A.E. 4: 44–73.

Boucharlat R. & Lombard P. 1991. Datations absolues de Rumeilah et chronologie de l’Age du Fer dans la péninsule d’Oman. Pages 301–314 in K. Schippmann (ed.), Golf-Archäologie. Göttingen.

Boucharlat R. & Lombard P. 2001a. Rumeilah. In Mouton M. & al-Tikriti W.Y. (eds), The architectural remains of the Iron Age sites in the United Arab Emirates and Oman. Al Ain/Lyon: Documents de l’Archéologie de l’Arabie 2. (CD-ROM).

Boucharlat R. & Lombard P. 2001b. Le bâtiment G de Rumeilah (oasis d’al Ain). Remarques sur les salles à poteaux de l’âge du fer en péninsule d’Oman. Iranica Antiqua 36: 213–238.

Bronk Ramsey C. 2009. Bayesian analysis of radiocarbon dates. Radiocarbon 51/1: 337–360.

Córdoba J.M. 2010. L’architecture domestique de l’âge du fer (1300–300 A.C.) dans la péninsule d’Oman — quelques documents sur les villages et la culture des oasis. Pages 143–157 in Avanzini A. (ed.), Eastern Arabia in the first millennium BC. Rome: l’Erma di Bretschneider.

Degli Esposti M., Condoluci C., Phillips C., Tagliamonte E. & Sasso M. 2018. The Early Iron Age chronology of south east Arabia: A reassessment on the basis of Husn Salut excavations. Pages 371–382 in Avanzini A. & Degli Esposti M. (eds), Husn Salut and the Iron Age of south east Arabia: Excavations of the Italian mission to Oman. (Arabia Antica, 15). Rome: ‘l’Erma’ di Bretschneider.

Kennet D., Deadman W.M. & Al Jahwari N.S. 2016. The Rustaq-Batinah archaeological survey. Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies 46: 155–168.

Lindauer S., Marali S., Schöne B.R., Uerpmann H-P., Kromer B. & Hinderer M. 2017. Investigating the local reservoir age and stable isotopes of shells from southeast Arabia. Radiocarbon 59, Special Issue 2: 355–372.

Lombard P. 1985. L’Arabie orientale à l’Age du Fer. PhD thesis, Université de Paris 1. [Unpublished.]

Lombard P. 1998. Quand la tradition tue l’innovation: Réflexions sur la glyptique de l’âge de Fer à Rumeilah (E.A.U). Pages 151–164 in Potts D.T., Phillips C.S. & Searight S. (eds), Arabia and her neighbours. Essays on prehistorical and historical development presented in honour of Beatrice de Cardi. Belgium: Brepols.

Magee P. 2003a. Columned halls, power and legitimisation in the southeastern Arabian Iron Age. Pages 181–194 in Potts D.T., al-Naboudah H. & Hellyer P. (eds), Archaeology of the United Arab Emirates: Proceedings of the first international conference on the archaeology of the U.A.E. United Arab Emirates: Trident Press, Ltd.

Magee P. 2003b. New chronometric data defining the Iron Age II period in south-eastern Arabia. Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies 33: 1–10.

Magee P. 2005. The production, distribution and function of Iron Age bridge-spouted vessels in Iran and Arabia: Results from recent excavations and geochemical analysis. Iran 43: 93–115.

Magee P. 2007. Beyond the desert and the sown: Settlement intensification in late prehistoric southeastern Arabia. Bulletin of the American School of Oriental Research 347: 83–105.

Phillips C. 2010. Iron Age chronology in south east Arabia and new data from Salut, Sultanate of Oman. Pages 71–79 in A. Avanzini (ed.), Eastern Arabia in the first millennium BC. (Arabia Antica, 6). Rome: ‘L’Erma’ di Bretschneider.

Power T., Benoist A. & Sheehan P. 2019. An Iron Age ceramic sequence from the Bayt Bin Ati, al-Ain, UAE. Arabian Archaeology and Epigraphy 30/1: 75–102.

Reimer P.J., Bard E., Bayliss A., Beck J.W., Blackwell P.G., Bronk Ramsey C. ... van der Pflicht J. 2013. IntCal13 and Marine13 radiocarbon age calibration curves 0–50,000 years cal BP. Radiocarbon 55/4: 1869–1887.

Stevens K.G. 1992. Four ‘Iron Age’ stamp seals from Qarn bint Sa’ud (Abu Dhabi Emirate – U.A.E.). Arabian Archaeology and Epigraphy 3: 173–176.

al-Tikriti W.Y. 1998. The pottery for the Iron Age settlement at Hili 2. In Mouton M. (ed.), Assemblages céramiques des sites de l’Age du Fer de la péninsule d’Oman. Lyon: Documents de l’Archéologie de l’Arabie 1. (CD-ROM).

al-Tikriti W.Y. 2001. The Iron Age site at Hili 2 (Al Ain, UAE). In Mouton M. & al-Tikriti W.Y. (eds), The architectural remains of the Iron Age sites in the United Arab Emirates and Oman. Al Ain/Lyon: Documents de l’Archéologie de l’Arabie 2. (CD-ROM).

al-Tikriti W.Y. 2002. The south-east Arabian origin of the falaj system. Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies 32: 117–138.

al-Tikriti W.Y. 2010. Heading north: An ancient caravan route and the impact of the falaj system on the Iron Age culture. Pages 227–247 in Avanzini A. (ed.), Eastern Arabia in the first millennium BC. (Arabia Antica, 6). Rome: l’Erma di Bretschneider.

al-Tikriti W.Y. & Haddou M.M. 2001. The Iron Age site at Hili 17 (Al Ain, UAE). In Mouton M. & al-Tikriti W.Y. (eds.), The architectural remains of the Iron Age sites in the United Arab Emirates and Oman. Al Ain/Lyon: Documents de l’Archéologie de l’Arabie 2. (CD-ROM).

Ur-Rahman S. 1978–1979. Report on Hili 2 settlement, excavations 1976–1979. Archaeology in the United Arab Emirates 2–3: 8–18.

Weeks L., Cable C.M., Franke K.A., Karacic S., Newton C., Roberts J. … Zein H.M. 2018. Saruq al-Hadid: A persistent temporary place in late prehistoric Arabia. World Archaeology August: 1–27. doi: 10.1080/00438243.2018.1491324.

Weeks L., Cable C.M., Karacic S., Franke K.A., Price, D.M., Newton C. … Zein H. 2019. Dating persistent short-term human activity in a complex depositional environment: Late prehistoric occupation at Saruq al-Hadid, Dubai. Radiocarbon 61/4: 1041–1075.

Published

31/08/2020

How to Cite

Karacic, S., Al Meqbali, A., Al Kaabi, A., Altawallbeh, D., Fadel, H., & Magee, P. (2020). Renewed research at the Iron Age II site of Hili 2 (Emirate of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates). Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies, 50(1), 189–201. Retrieved from https://archaeopresspublishing.com/ojs/index.php/PSAS/article/view/301

Most read articles by the same author(s)