9 December 2022 The Future is the Product of the Past

A Christian monastery, possibly pre-dating Islam, found in UAE

A Christian monastery has been discovered on the island of Siniyah off the coast of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), possibly dating back to the years before the spread of Islam to the Arabian Peninsula.

Archaeologists have discovered similar churches and monasteries in Iran and other Persian Gulf countries. Early churches and monasteries are thought to have spread from the Persian Gulf to the coasts of modern-day Oman and all the way to India.

The Siniyah Island monastery, part of the sand-dune sheikhdom of Umm al-Quwain, sheds new light on the history of early Christianity along the Persian Gulf’s shores.

The monastery is located on Siniyah Island, a barrier island protecting the Khor al-Beida marshlands in Umm al-Quwain, an emirate along the Persian Gulf coast about 30 miles northeast of Dubai. Carbon dating of samples found in the monastery’s foundation dates between 534 and 656.

It marks the second such monastery found in the Emirates, dating back as many as 1,400 years — long before its desert expanses gave birth to a thriving oil industry which led to a unified nation home to the high-rise towers of Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

Scholars believe the two monasteries were lost to history as Christians gradually converted to Islam as Islam became more prevalent in the region.

Observers visit an ancient Christian monastery on Siniyah Island in the United Arab Emirates on Thursday. Photo: Kamran Jebreili

For Timothy Power, an associate professor of archaeology at the United Arab Emirates University who helped investigate the newly discovered monastery, the UAE today is a “melting pot of nations.”

“The fact that something similar was happening here 1,000 years ago is really remarkable, and this is a story that deserves to be told,” he said.

The floor plan of the monastery on Siniyah Island suggests that early Christians may have prayed inside a single-aisle church there. Rooms within appear to hold a baptismal font, as well as an oven for baking bread or wafers for communion rites. Additionally, an altar and a setup for communion wine were probably located in a nave.

Next to the monastery is a second structure with four rooms arranged around a courtyard, which could have been the home of an abbot or a bishop in the early church.

Archaeologists discovered the first Christian monastery in the UAE in the early 1990s on Sir Bani Yas Island, which is now a nature preserve and home to luxury hotels off the coast of Abu Dhabi, near the Saudi border. It dates back to the same period as the new find in Umm al-Quwain.

Banner
Related Post

A unique tomb decorated with amber was discovered near Petrozavodsk

26 August 2021

26 August 2021

According to a press release from the Petrozavodsk State University a unique tomb was discovered on the western shore of...

Unsolvable Megalithic Mystery of ancient Greek “Dragon Houses”

4 July 2022

4 July 2022

The Dragon Houses of Euboea, which probably dates to the Preclassical period of ancient Greece, are one of the historical...

The Famous Cueva de Ardales cave in Spain was used by ancient humans for over 50,000 years

8 June 2022

8 June 2022

Cueva de Ardales cave in Málaga, Spain,  famed for the extensive prehistoric art on its walls was excavated for the...

9 Synagogues in Izmir to Reopen as Museum

26 March 2022

26 March 2022

As part of a Jewish heritage project in Izmir, Turkey, nine historic synagogues will be reopened as museums. Built by...

Oil drilling uncovers a 2,000-year-old cemetery with giant Urn-like tombs in Southwest Iran

16 July 2022

16 July 2022

An ancient cemetery with urn-like tombs was discovered in Ahvaz, the capital city of Khuzestan province in southwestern Iran. The...

Archaeologists have unearthed a trove of artifacts at the necropolis of Saqqara

9 June 2022

9 June 2022

Archaeologists at the necropolis of Saqqara, near Cairo, have discovered a cache of 250 complete mummies in painted wooden sarcophagi...

Ancient gypsum furniture was discovered in a fire temple in the ancient region of Vigol in Iran

1 June 2021

1 June 2021

Sets of gypsum furniture, including a carved table and chairs, were discovered during an archaeological dig in central Iran. According...

New Dead Sea Scrolls in The Horror Cave

16 March 2021

16 March 2021

On Tuesday, Israeli archaeologists revealed dozens of recently discovered fragments of Bible text, the Dead Sea Scrolls, which were based...

More than 56400 Cultural Goods Seized in Operation Pandora V

11 May 2021

11 May 2021

Operation Pandora V, aimed at preventing the illegal trade of cultural goods, has been one of the most successful operations...

Archeologists Unearth Spectator snacks from the Roman Period in Colosseum

28 November 2022

28 November 2022

An excavation of the Colosseum’s sewer systems has uncovered a selection of spectator snacks from the Roman Period. It appears...

The Mountain of Shemharus, King of the Ginn: Toubkal

14 August 2022

14 August 2022

Towering over the Atlas Mountains, Mount Toubkal is the highest peak in Morocco. Toubkal, the highest mountain in all of...

6,000-year-old island settlement found off the Croatian coast

24 June 2021

24 June 2021

Archaeologist Mate Parica, a professor at the University of Zadar, noticed something unusual while examining satellite images of Croatia‘s coastline....

1,400-year-old royal hall found in Suffolk, UK

5 October 2022

5 October 2022

Archaeologists, evidence of a 1,400-year-old royal Hall of the first Kings of East Anglia has been discovered in Rendlesham, Suffolk,...

Collectors In The Prehistoric World Recycled Old Stone Tools To Preserve The Memory Of Their Ancestors

16 March 2022

16 March 2022

A first-of-its-kind study at Tel Aviv University asks what drove prehistoric humans to collect and recycle flint tools that had...

In Switzerland, a Roman amphitheater was discovered during the construction of boathouse

21 January 2022

21 January 2022

Archaeologists from Aargau Cantonal Archaeology have announced the discovery of a Roman amphitheater in Kaiseraugst, located in the canton of...

Comments
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *