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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 September 2018

UAE among first to create water systems known as falajs

Archaeologists, heritage experts and researchers revealed that the UAE was among the first countries in the world to create the water systems known as falajs, and to create human settlements thousands of years ago.
A 3,000 year old iron age falaj irrigation system at Hilli in Al Ain. Stephen Lock / The National
A 3,000 year old iron age falaj irrigation system at Hilli in Al Ain. Stephen Lock / The National

AL AIN // Archaeologists, heritage experts and researchers revealed that the UAE was among the first countries in the world to create the water systems known as falajs, and to create human settlements thousands of years ago.

At the Conference on Water and Life in the Arabian Peninsula, experts stressed that the history of oases and falajs in the eastern region of Abu Dhabi and the impact of water on the building and architecture of ancient human settlements represent a global human wealth.

The conference, sponsored by Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority and held at Al Qattara Arts Centre this week, shed light on the effects and the heritage of water in the region and the role that the Hajar Mountains had in the formation of groundwater reserves in the Ard Jaw plain.

Dr Walid Al Tikriti, head of the archaeology department at the TCA, presented a paper on irrigation systems and the impact of water on civilisations in the Bronze and Iron ages. He showed how water was the main factor in determining the shape of human settlement in the region. He discussed architectural elements and archaeological findings that remained from those two civilisations.

Six falaj systems discovered in Al Ain and north of the city were associated with permanent and semi-permanent human settlements dating from the Iron Age and prove that south-east Arabia was a key area for this type of irrigation and that Al Ain and Al Buraimi oases originated from this system.

newsdesk@thenational.ae

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