What are ‘Arabian Alexanders’ and what are they doing in UAE?

By Divi S.

15 tombs uncovered in dig

UMM AL QUWAIN 2 April 2019: Fifteen tombs and have been uncovered in further excavations at the archaeological site of ed-Dur by the Department of Tourism and Antiquities in Umm Al Quwain.

Alia Al Ghafli, Director General of the Department, said that discoveries included 15 tombs, settlement remains, bronze statuettes, pottery and jewellery, dating back to the 1st Century AD. Coins in a style derived from the coins of the 4th Century BC Greek emperor Alexander the Great were also found, she said.

Sometimes called ‘Arabian Alexanders’, such coins circulated widely in the eastern Arabian peninsula around the beginning of the Christian era. The discovery several years ago of a stone mould for making coins at Mleiha, Sharjah, confirmed that some of this coinage was minted in the UAE.

“The excavations project is in line with the strategy of Umm Al Quwian’s Government to support archaeological exploration across the Emirate,” Al Ghafli said. The objective is to learn more about the region’s history through identifying more burial sites and by excavating more material, she added.

The Dig In Pictures