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Nineteenth century settlement patterns at Zekrit, Qatar: pottery, tribes and territory

Alexandrine Guérin and Faysal ʿAbdallah al-Naʾimi
Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies
Vol. 38, Papers from the forty-first meeting of the Seminar for Arabian Studies held in London, 19-21 July 2007 (2008), pp. 173-185
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/41223947
Page Count: 13
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Nineteenth century settlement patterns at Zekrit, Qatar: pottery, tribes and territory
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Abstract

In 2002 the French archaeological mission in Qatar commenced a research programme dealing with the Islamic period in Qatar. The first phase treated the methods of establishment in the desert and posed the problem of the description of tribal territories and the phenomenon of sedentarization during the modern period. The site of Zekrit offers the possibility of testing these questions. Three excavation campaigns were carried out from 2002 to 2005, followed by a study season in 2006. The site is located at the southern end of the bay of Zekrit, which skirts the small peninsula next to the town of Dukhan, up to 40 m from the shore of the Arabian Gulf. The entire site covers some 18,000 m² (200×90 m) and includes two built structures, namely a fort and a madbassa close to the shore. The fort is quadrangular, measuring about 50 m on each side, and has circular or quadrangular towers. A third zone of investigation is related to an area of encampment between the fortress and the madbassa. The importance of this study lies firstly in the short duration of occupation of the site as it was only occupied for about a century, and secondly in the information it gives on the local plain ware assemblage of pottery. Few publications deal with this type of material and the traditional chronological discussions are based on the so-called "luxury wares" (either glazed or porcelain), whereas studies devoted to "common wares" in this region are virtually unknown.

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