Unique insight into UAE’s ancient civilisations at Sorbonne Abu Dhabi lecture
Home / News / Unique insight into UAE’s ancient civilisations at Sorbonne Abu Dhabi lecture


Abu Dhabi, 5 February 2013 –Paris-Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi held a lecture by Dr. Walid Yasin Al Tikriti a field archaeologist and expert from Tourism and Culture Authority (TCA), on the archaeology of Umm an-Nar island, Hili and Bida Bint Saud with a primary focus on rock art. On Monday, 4th February 2013, this discussion explored the Bronze and Iron Age communities and monuments, including cemeteries, which disclosed the culture and lifestyle of UAE’s early inhabitants.

The presentation introduced the main archaeological features that existed from 2600-2000 BC on Umm an-Nar Island, a key site located in Abu Dhabi, offshore next to the Maqta bridge. A major feature of the island is the large cemetery comprising over 50 dome-shaped tombs. The rock art adorning these tombs have intricate geometric designs that has attracted global interest and appreciation.

Dr. Al Tikriti also discussed the significance of these settlements and carvings as well as the discovery of falaj (underground water channel) in these areas. This innovative system of directing water reveals the ingenuity of the inhabitants in using the land’s resources.

Prof. Dr. Eric Fouache, Vice-Chancellor of Paris-Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi said, “This lecture offered a remarkable glimpse into the ancient civilisations of the Arabian peninsula. Sorbonne Abu Dhabi constantly collaborates with government organisations and entities to obtain a deeper insight into the UAE’s history.”

As an Emirati university, Paris-Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi plays an active role in the society of the UAE and aspires to become a center for research promoting knowledge especially on the UAE heritage and culture.