The world’s oldest known natural pearl has been discovered at a Neolithic site in Abu Dhabi.
Archaeologists found the pearl at the site on Marawah Island off the coast of the Emirate. The pearl was discovered in part of the Neolithic site that has been carbon-dated to 5800 B.C. to 5600 B.C., according to the Abu Dhabi Department of Culture and Tourism.
“The discovery is proof that pearls and oysters were used in the UAE [United Arab Emirates] nearly 8,000 years ago, and represents the earliest known evidence for pearling yet discovered anywhere in the world,” it said in a statement.
Pearls were used for adornment during the Neolithic period.
“The Abu Dhabi Pearl is a stunning find, testimony to the ancient origins of our engagement with the sea,” said Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, chairman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Culture and Tourism, in the statement.
First discovered in 1992, the Neolithic site at Marawah Island consists of a number of collapsed stone structures. Other finds at the site include an imported ceramic vase, flint arrowheads, shell and stone beads and fragments of painted plaster vessels, the Department of Culture and Tourism said.
In 2018, an archaeological dig on Marawah Island revealed an ancient “house of the dead,” according to The National.
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