Saruq al-Hadid highlighted at the Seminar for Arabian Studies 2016

This year’s Seminar for Arabian Studies featured three papers on Dubai’s Iron Age Saruq al-Hadid, an important metalworking site in the Arabian Desert some 5,000 years ago.

During the two-day seminar, held annually at the British Museum, talks highlighted Saruq al-Hadid’s enigmatic nature; excavations over the last decade have unearthed a rich collection of objects yet the questions around the site outnumber the answers for the archaeologists tasked with piecing together its political, social and economic landscape.

The uncertainty around this site and others in the UAE is marked by a call to develop greater local expertise in this area, in a region that may not have been fully appreciated previously for its archaeological value. Saruq al-Hadid, discovered by chance in 2002, offers clues about the region’s potential and Barker Langham joins the desire to see an increase in Emiratis participating in this archaeological dialogue.

The Saruq Al-Hadid Archaeology Museum in Dubai, which Barker Langham curated, is home to a still-growing collection. The museum and the visitor experience aims to introduce the range of skills that combine within an archaeological project, and allow people, children in particular, to try their hand at some of the tasks undertaken by the archaeology and conservation team. The museum raises the profile of a previously unknown site and highlighting it has contributed to the discourse around desert archaeology.

Find out more about the museum here.