Saturday, February 27, 2010

Archeology in Qatar

This is an intermission...have to make sure you realize that there are things to see and do here in Doha. Actually if we wanted to, there's something to do just about every single weekend!! Quite amazing...camping trips, camel racing, archeological digs, truly a wealth of things.
We did take a trip out to the northern tip of Qatar to an archeological dig. Now...I must admit there wasn't a lot to see, however, it was fascinating to see just how little they have to start with and how they figure things out.
We drove out to what looked like a deserted field - nothing but hard packed sand, few scrubby grasses, and mangroves off in the distance. As we walked closer, we realized that some of the stones we saw were actually in a regular formation...a straight line. When we actually got close, we found that there were walls.
Now the first one you see is rather large and sticking up - sure sign something was going on. It's actually what is left of a corner section of a "fort" type structure. They had actually excavated down deeper but during the months when they're not on a site, they cover it with sand to protect it so we didn't get the 'full' view. Nevertheless, what they had figured out and how they determined size and structure and use was fascinating. my untrained eye, this picture is just a corner - two walls coming together. However, if you look closely, you can see the kind of structure is different, the left wall being the older of the two walls. They can use that to determine the original size of the enclosure and then which walls were added later on. Apparently this was a fairly large settlement back in its day ... had water in a well (still there) and was right on the ocean. Most likely it was connected to the pearl diving industry that was here....time will tell as they discover more. His whole talk about the site was fascinating. Would like to be able to go out sometime when they were working to see more of what they have discovered.
Here's one of the reasons they need to cover things...the shepherd's flock roamed all over the place - and at one time the ram took off after us!!! Some of the photographers get a bit closer than he (the ram) liked.

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