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The Ancient Iranian Castle Wall Discovered in Al Koush area in Lower Persian Gulf



Thursday, 04 October 2001

The unearthing of an ancient Sasanian castle wall in the fourth phase of the archaeological excavation in what is today known as the Emirate's Al Koush area (most probably the Old City of Julphar and its ancient Iranian name is unknown) sheds remarkable new light on the history of of the invasion of Iran by Arabs and Islamic rule.


Other important finds include an ancient a gold Dinar dating back to the era of Omar bin Yousif, the governor of Oman in 951 CE, as well as the oldest coffee set dating back to the 12th century.

Shouhainah Farid, head of the excavating team, said that Al Koush was chosen for the excavation since it is the highest hill full of ancient ruins which would tell us more about the history of the area. She added that the project has been supported and sponsored by the government of Ras Al Khaimah, the National Bank of Ras Al Khaimah, Ras Al Khaimah Museum, the British Museum, and Durham University.

She added that the excavation was started in 1993 by an English team which chose the highest hill of Al Koush to start with, and experience later proved it was the best site in the Gulf area.

She explained that the way of life in those early days was established after the analysis of pottery items and fish and animal bones.

The discovered wall was part of the ancient Sasanian castle, which was destroyed by the Arab forces during the 7th century CE when they sacked Southern territories of the Iranian Empire and asked the Sasanians to either convert to Islam or leave the place (or pay Poll Tax or face death). "The castle was completely destroyed by the Arabs which indicated the end of the Sasanian era". 


She said that the discoveries were of vital importance to complete the history of the area. 


The excavation will shed remarkable new light on the Lower Persian Gulf history as there is no accurate written documents of the entry of Islam into this area and Arab invasion of former Iranian territories in the south part of the Empire. Archaeological excavation will narrate the exact history of Islam in the in that region, underlining the cultural, political and social changes which happened to the ancient Iranians when Arabs first entered the area.

The excavations in the area will tell us specifically about the messages sent by Prophet Muhammed to the Iranian Emperor of Sasanian dynast, Shahanshah Khosrow Anushak-ruwan which possibly tell those Emperors were overthrown by the inhabitants of the area when they converted to the the New Religion or were massacred by the Arab invaders.

The Ras Al Khaimah Government had assigned two other teams - a British and a Japanese -to join the German team of archaeologists due to the importance of this excavation.

Ahmed Hilal, an archaeologist at the Ras Al Khaimah National Museum, said there has been a debate over the castle. A recent theory is that it was a tower, the first of its kind survived in the region. Some archaeologists argue that it was a tower because of its structure – it was not round, but a rectangular shaped wall.

He pointed out that it could have been a tower facing the sea on the main road going to Shaam (a remote area in modern Ras Al Khaimah) and served sea trading activities.





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