Peter Magee, Zayed National Museum Director, Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, in conversation with Eisa Yousif, Director of Excavations & Sites, Sharjah Archaeology Authority.
The story of archaeology in the United Arab Emirates began in the 1950s with the excavation of Bronze Age tombs on Umm an-Nar Island by Danish teams, at the personal invitation of Sheikh Shakhbut bin Sultan Al Nahyan, then ruler of Abu Dhabi. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan also took a keen interest in the archaeologists’ work and accompanied his brother Sheikh Shakhbut to see the site. Sheikh Zayed understood the importance of unearthing the UAE’s unique and interesting past and encouraged archaeological excavations in Abu Dhabi and across the emirates. His encouragement led to the flourishing of archaeological study in the UAE, revealing its rich ancient heritage.