General Travel News

Discover early civilization at Mleiha, Sharjah

Mleiha in Sharjah is an archeological treasure trove. It is home to the region’s earliest human settlers. Excavations at this site tell the story of man’s first inhabitation of the area 130,000 years ago.

Among the most important archeological finds in Mleiha is the remnant of an ancient lake, which was formed by precipitation many thousands of years ago. Experts believe that the feature was created by the torrential rains that overflowed from Al Hajr Mountains down to Mleiha's plains, with studies revealing that the lake supplied the local population with fresh drinking water and was a prime source for irrigation.

Visitors to Mleiha can gain a fascinating insight into the region's anthropological history through the tools used by its earliest inhabitants. Excavations have led to the discovery of the Faya Cave in the Faya Mountain - a dwelling area carved into the rock - where ancient tools dating back to the Stone Age have been unearthed. These discoveries reveal Mleiha's geostrategic location as a gateway from the African continent to the East & West, signifying man's ability and ingenuity in creating shelter that can resist the rigors of nature.

Featuring eight towers and built from bricks made from clay and straw, the Mleiha Archaeological Fort dates back to the Late Pre-Islamic period from the 2nd to the 3rd century Common Era (CE). The fort, which enjoyed significant political and economic status during its early years, provides further evidence of the activities of the more recent human settlers in the region. Excavations have indicated military actions, with burn marks and damage to the fort’s thick walls likely evidence of period of war or conflicts in the area. The structure, which comprises rooms that housed soldiers and other inhabitants, now showcases some of the artifacts and equipments of the era, including wood-burning stoves, coin molds, and other valuable and ancient findings.

Mleiha Archaeological and Ecotourism Project is one of the leading tourist destinations of Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq), with its first phase inaugurated in January 2016.

Mahmoud Rashid Al Suwaidi, Manager of the Mleiha Archaeological and Eco-Tourism Project, said: "Capitalizing on the density of unique elements in Mleiha, we are engaged in implementing many development and service projects, the foremost of which is the Mleiha Archaeological Centre, with its design inspired by the beauty of the area’s natural surroundings.”

“It serves as a uniquely designed resource that offers visitors the opportunity to enjoy an array of entertainment and adventure options that allow them to explore Mleiha’s history. We have developed overnight accommodation facilities, including overnight camps, at the site’s various locations, as well as a cafe that accommodates all visitors at the destination, and areas designated for events,” he added.

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