World’s oldest pearl graces Abu Dhabi’s Louvre

The natural pearl was found in the floor of a room discovered during excavations at Marawah Island, off the capital of the United Arab Emirates, which revealed the earliest architecture found in the country.
Emirati experts believe that pearls were traded with Mesopotamia -- ancient Iraq -- in exchange for ceramics and other goods.(Photo: @dctabudhabi/Twitter)
Emirati experts believe that pearls were traded with Mesopotamia -- ancient Iraq -- in exchange for ceramics and other goods.(Photo: @dctabudhabi/Twitter)
Updated on Oct 21, 2019 11:02 AM IST
Copy Link
Abu Dhabi | ByPress Trust of India

An 8,000-year-old pearl that archaeologists say is the world’s oldest will be displayed in Abu Dhabi, according to authorities who said Sunday it is proof the objects have been traded since Neolithic times.

The natural pearl was found in the floor of a room discovered during excavations at Marawah Island, off the capital of the United Arab Emirates, which revealed the earliest architecture found in the country.

“The layers from which the pearl came have been carbon dated to 5800-5600 BC, during the Neolithic period,” Abu Dhabi’s Department of Culture and Tourism said.

“The discovery of the oldest pearl in the world in Abu Dhabi makes it clear that so much of our recent economic and cultural history has deep roots that stretch back to the dawn of prehistory,” said its chairman Mohamed Al-Muabarak.

The excavation of the Marawah site, which is made up of numerous collapsed Neolithic stone structures, has also yielded ceramics, beads made from shell and stone, and flint arrowheads.

The “Abu Dhabi Pearl” will be shown for the first time in the exhibition “10,000 years of Luxury” which is opening on October 30 at the Louvre Abu Dhabi -- the outpost of the famous Paris museum.

Emirati experts believe that the pearls were traded with Mesopotamia -- ancient Iraq -- in exchange for ceramics and other goods. They were also likely worn as jewellery.

“The Venetian jewel merchant Gasparo Balbi, who travelled through the region, mentions the islands off the coast of Abu Dhabi as a source of pearls in the 16th century,” the culture department said.

The pearl industry once underpinned the economy of the United Arab Emirates, but the trade collapsed in the 1930s with the advent of Japanese cultured pearls, and as conflicts rocked global economies.

Instead, the Gulf nations turned to the oil industry which dominates their economies to this day.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close Story
QUICKREADS

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • Image for representation only.

    US CDC publishes guidelines on monkeypox vaccine. Details here

    The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday published recommendations by its group of independent experts on a smallpox vaccine that limit its use to only people who work closely with viruses such as monkeypox. The publication of the vote by the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, which took place in November last year, formalizes the recommendations.

  • Tesla chief Elon Musk. 

    US SEC looking into Musk's Twitter stake purchase

    The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is looking into Tesla Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk's disclosure of his stake in Twitter Inc in early April, according to a letter the agency sent to him that month. Musk was offered a board seat shortly after his initial disclosure and has since gone on to attempt to buy the company outright in a $44 billion deal to take it private. An SEC spokesperson declined to comment.

  • A person holds pictures of victims of the Texas shooting as they protest against gun laws outside the National Rifle Association (NRA) annual convention in Houston, Texas.

    Texas shooting: Cops took 45 minutes to confront gunman, kids kept calling 911

    Nearly 20 officers stood in a hallway outside of the classrooms during this week's attack on a Texas elementary school for more than 45 minutes before agents used a master key to open a door and confront a gunman, authorities said Friday.

  • Former Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan,

    Watch: Imran Khan storms out of presser, his fans & critics fight on Twitter

    Former Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan on Friday stormed out of a press conference in Peshawar after he was questioned by a journalist on his party Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf's role in the social media, Pakistan website Geo TV reported. This comes a day after the former prime minister and several senior leaders were booked for arson and vandalism in Islamabad during Azadi March.

  • An employee of the vaccine company Bavarian Nordic shows a picture of a vaccine virus on a display in a laboratory of the company in Martinsried near Munich, Germany

    Monekypox spreads to over 20 nations; Global tally nears 200: Full list here

    More than 20 countries across the globe have reported detections of Monkeypox cases so far taking the total tally to nearly 200, the World Health Organisation. It had reported its first infection on May 18. Canada: Canada has a total of 25 infections of Monkeypox. Spain: The European nation has so far logged 84 cases of disease. The number saw a significant rise on May 26 when the country logged 25 cases.

SHARE
Story Saved
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Saturday, May 28, 2022