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Friday, April 04, 2008

Qatar Archeology: Romans in Qatar?

Actually, no - or at least not many.

A recent article in the Gulf Times, based on claims by a rogue archeologist, claimed that Qatar was settled by traders from the Indus Valley, and that the Romans had settlements in Fuwarit, Jessasiya and Umm Almah. You can read the article on the Gulf Times website.

I was very impressed and mentioned it to an archeologist friend - who told me that it was all rubbish. The article was based on claims by an amateur archeologist who had, shall we say, misinterpreted and exaggerated the facts.

According to the Amiri Diwan website the Romans may have been in Qatar at some point - however, this seems to have been limited to a temporary fishing station. The truth is that for centuries Bahrain was more attractive to settlers, because of its fresh water springs and reserves - many of which are now sadly drying up due to over development. As a result Bahrain has a far more interesting history (although not necessarily a happier one!)

Qatar probably was, however, part of Dilmun, a bronze age kingdom that was - wait for it - based in Bahrain. You can read more on our article on Qatar's Early History. (It's not that boring honest. Well, it's short, anyway.)

Excavations in Qatar are continuing and real finds are being made by a Danish team of archaeologists here, and which should be reported shortly.

Image by Stuck in Customs

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