In Search of Petroglyphs

February 8, 2014

Posted by Kanga

old stone structures

In case you hadn’t noticed from previous posts, DaddyBird’s new hobby is researching and finding archeological sites in Fujairah. He noticed this one right along side the new Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Road which we drive every time we go to Dubai. Why it took us so long to notice it is a mystery.

stone foundation of a khaimah house

There are three surviving structures. Two khaimah houses – low stone foundation which would have been topped with a palm branch tent – and one rectangular stone house with wooden beams supporting the roof. The fact that the wood beams are still part of the structure means that it is probably a fairly recent structure, abandoned only a few generations ago.

rectangular stone house with wooden beams across the top

We continued our exploration by driving up Wadi Sahm which was just recently paved. We stopped here.

dry valley and hillside

Which might not look like much, until you get close enough to see that there are several large boulders around which stone shelters were built long ago.

large boulder with a low rock wall built around it

We didn’t do an official count, but would estimate that there was a sizable settlement here of 15-20 structures. They took advantage of the large boulders to form at least one wall of their shelters and provide support. It is likely that these were low rock walls topped with thatch roofs made of bushes.

large boulder with petroglyphs

There were a few petroglyphs at this site. This boulder has both old designs and more modern markings, including Arabic script.

large boulder covered with petroglyphs

Further up the valley is a large boulder right on the side of the road covered on all sides with petroglyphs. A short distance from this is a small plateau with a few piles of stones and quite a few petroglyphs.

two snake markings on a soccer ball sized rock


camel petroglyph


It’s too bad we don’t have time travel technology. I’d love to take a little peak back in time to see how these people lived. What they valued. What made them laugh.

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