ENHG Al Ain Trip to Ras al Khaimah



ENHG Al Ain Trip to Ras al Khaimah

On the weekend of February 26 - 28, 2003, more than 30 members of the Al Ain chapter of the Emirates Natural History Group traveled to Ras al Khaimah to see a number of historical and archaeological sites.

The Group was fortunate to have the cooperation and support of Christian Velde, resident archaeologist of the Ras al Khaimah Museum and Phil Iddison, coordinator of the Al Ain chapter's cultural heritage Special Interest Group. Christian gave an outstanding presentation at the Falayah archaeological site on the outskirts of Ras al Khaimah.

The sites visited included

  • the Ras al Khaimah Museum with its outstanding collection of galleries
  • the dhow yards where the keel of a large dhow had already been laid
  • the tombs, settlement sites and watchtowers at Shimal, some dating back more than 4000 years
  • Falayah, where the Sheikhs of the peninsula met with the British in 1820, following the British bombardment of Ras al Khaimah in 1819, to sign a treaty that led to the creation of what became known as the Trucial States
  • Jazirat al Hamrah, an abandoned community west of Ras al Khaimah where "modern" houses were built with some of the nation's first oil revenues. The houses include many constructed of coral.
  • Wadi Sha'am, with its collection of fodder and grain storage buildings (yanz) and, on the opposite side of the wadi, beneath the towering peaks of the Hajar Mountains, an abandoned community of more than 100 houses, mosques, terraced fields, pottery kilns

A sample of photographs taken during the trip appears in the galleries noted below. Eventually, a more extensive gallery will be established featuring the photos of Phil Iddison taken during a reconnaisance trip in December 2002.

RAK trip photo galleries
The RAK Museum
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ENHG members at the RAK Museum
Photo by Jerry Buzzell
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One of the cannons inside the Museum in Ras al Khaimah
Photo by Jerry Buzzell
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Cannons that once defended Ras al Khaimah now rest quietly outside the city's Museum
Photo by Jerry Buzzell
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The windtower restored in the Ras al Khaimah Museum
Photo by Jerry Buzzell

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The Dhow Yards

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Anchor on the beach at the dhow yards
Photo by Jerry Buzzell
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Dhow builders tools
Photo by Jerry Buzzell
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Keel laid for new dhow in Ras al Khaimah yards
Photo by Jerry Buzzell
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Workmen sawing on the keel of a new dhow
Photo by Jerry Buzzell
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One of two windlass in the dhow yards at RAK
Photo by Jerry Buzzell

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Falayah

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Archaeologist Christian Welde and his team recently uncovered these farm houses near the official residence at Falayah
Photo by Jerry Buzzell
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Watchtower and mosque at Falayah
Photo by Jerry Buzzell
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Archaeologists used traditional mud bricks to restore some of the buildings in Falayah
Photo by Jerry Buzzell
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The ruling family's
residence at Falayah
Photo by Jerry Buzzell
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The well at the Falayah archaeological site
Photo by Jerry Buzzell

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Jazirat al Hamra

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Brain coral in wall construction at Jazirat al Hamra
Photo by Jerry Buzzell
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The entrance to one of the abandoned homes at Jazirat al Hamra
Photo by Jerry Buzzell
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Fan coral is one of the varieties of coral used in the construction of buildings at what is now Jazirat al Hamera
Photo by Jerry Buzzell
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The unique shaped minaret and adjoining mosque on the beach at Jazirat al Hamra
Photo by Jerry Buzzell
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Shells amid the gravel on the beach
Photo by Jerry Buzzell
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The design in most of the buildings at Jazirat al Hamra appears to be the contractor's emblem
Photo by Jerry Buzzell
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Windows in abandoned homes in Jazirat al Hamra
Photo by Jerry Buzzell

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Shimal

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Group at one of the Shimal gravesites
Photo by Jerry Buzzell
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ENHG members examining one of the Shimal tombs
Photo by Jerry Buzzell
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One of the Shimal tombs
Photo by Jerry Buzzell
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Leaning capstones of one of the Shimal tombs
Photo by Jerry Buzzell
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The face of an old man appears in this rock outcrop at Shimal
Photo by Jerry Buzzell
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One of the circular 3rd millenium tombs at Shimal
Photo by Jerry Buzzell
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Incredible forces pitched layers of rock into vertical positions at Shimal; the rock provided building material for settlements and tombs
Photo by Jerry Buzzell
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The watchtower at Shimal was once much closer to the Gulf shoreline
Photo by Jerry Buzzell

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Sili

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Brien with a cannonball found in one home
Photo by Laurence Garey
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Brien and Josette checking out "treasures as chinking"
Photo by Laurence Garey
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Brien examining items in storage box
Photo by Laurence Garey
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Brien with jug found in home
Photo by Laurence Garey
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A few of the storage pots found in one house in Wadi Sha'am
Photo by Laurence Garey

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The Yanz of Wadi Sha'am

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Agriculture terraces in Wadi Sha'am
Photo by Jerry Buzzell
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Farming was carried out on terraces in Wadi Sha'am
Photo by Jerry Buzzell
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The rooflines of yanz in Wadi Sha'am
Photo by Jerry Buzzell
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Some of the yanz -- storage buildings -- in Wadi Sha'am
Photo by Jerry Buzzell
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Stone walls define the terraces for farming in Wadi Sha'am
Photo by Jerry Buzzell
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The terraces in Wadi Sha'am appear like steps up the slope of the Hajar Mountains
Photo by Jerry Buzzell
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Some of the storage buildings (yanz) are still sealed
Photo by Jerry Buzzell
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Yanz, tree and distance mountain face in Wadi Sha'am
Photo by Jerry Buzzell

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