Archaeologists from the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi have found archaeological structures that have changed beliefs about the oldest known history of the emirate, the UAE and the entire region. These new finds date back more than 8,500 years, which provides evidence that this area is about 500 years older than previously thought.
These discoveries were made on Gaga Island, west of Abu Dhabi in 2020, and since then the department’s team has been conducting scientific analyzes of the structures and discoveries found there. Experts conducted a carbon-14 analysis of coal fragments that showed the structures to be at least 8,500 years old – surpassing the previous record for the oldest known structures discovered in the UAE, specifically on the neighboring island of Marawah.
It was previously believed that the length of the maritime trade routes stimulated people to settle in the area, which developed during the Neolithic era, but recent discoveries have proven that the Neolithic settlements existed before the start of the trade movement, that is, the local economic and environmental conditions encouraged the existence of the first human settlement in the region What is known today as the United Arab Emirates. The islands, which were previously thought to be barren land unsuitable for living, were a ‘fertile coast’. It is a guide that changes the picture painted about the islands of Abu Dhabi in the cultural history of the region in general.
His Excellency Mohammed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, said: “The importance of archaeological research lies in the fact that it provides an accurate documentation of history, as it helps us understand our ancestors and the history of their settlement and the construction of their homes 8,500 years ago. The new finds on Gaga Island reflect the innovation and resilience of the people of this region for thousands of years. It also highlights the importance of history, and highlights the strong cultural ties between the Emirati people and the sea. While Abu Dhabi still holds many treasures to discover.”

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