Over the past 40 years, archaeological surveys and excavations in the Mleiha inland basin have shed much light on the diversity and richness of the human societies that have flourished there over many thousands of years. So far no other landscape in south-east Arabia has yielded so much information about its pre- and proto-history. The pre-Islamic city of Mleiha represents the peak of the area's ancient civilization. During the last centuries bce and after, an important caravan town flourished there - part of the network of Arabian overland trade that linked the shores of the Indian Ocean and Mediterranean worlds in antiquity. Mleiha issued its own coinage, and its rulers and merchants were wealthy enough to acquire the finest camels and horses, and to build monumental tower tombs that expressed their status. The archaeological evidence of the Mleiha area reaches back as far as the Palaeolithic period 130,000 years ago. Later, as the last Ice Age gave way to a warming climate, graveyards and adjacent settlements shed light on the lives of the Neolithic communities who lived there from 11,000 years ago. Civilization evolved during the succeeding Bronze Age from 3000 bce onward, evidenced by elaborate communal tombs. The centuries that followed witnessed the introduction of the underground falaj irrigation system. Domestication of the camel enabled extensive trans-regional trade connections. There is evidence for all of these developments in the Mleiha area. The Emirate of Sharjah today takes great pride in its role as a centre for culture, the arts and civilized values. The publication of this book has been timed to coincide with the opening of the new Mleiha Visitor Centre as a focal point for all those wanting to find out more about the civilizations that once flourished in this unique area.
Beautifully illustrated with photographs of many of the significant finds in the area as well as maps, charts and diagrams, the authoritative text is written in a style to appeal to both the layman and the expert. Mleiha: The Unwritten History is available in English and Arabic and provides a valuable record of the history, pre-history and archaeology of this significant region of the world.