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The Crowded Desert: a multi-phase archaeological survey in the north-west of Qatar
Taken from Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies 46 (2016) by Jose C. Carvajal Lopez, Laura Morabito, Robert Carter, Richard Fletcher & Faisal Abdullah al-Naimi. Pages 45-62.ISBN 9781784913632.

This paper introduces the conception, development, and results of the first campaign of the Crowded Desert Project, an archaeological survey of the area of Mulayhah (aka Mleiha), Umm al-Ma in north-west Qatar. The project aims to develop basic research on desert settlement and on processes of nomadism and sedentarization over a long timescale in Qatar. The first season has focused on two areas, the most important of which is the Mulayhah Depression, a geological silt trap with a well, around which there is documented occupation ranging from the Hellenistic period up to the present day. As expected, the seasonal flooding of the depression can offer potential stratigraphic sequences that can be combined with other methods of dating to establish a basic sequence of occupation of the area. In the survey more than 600 features were mapped, including campsites, Islamic and pre-Islamic cemeteries, and mosques of different sizes. This is the first multi-phasic intensive survey of the area in which an attempt to offer a long-term interpretation of settlement patterns has been undertaken. Click on the PDF to read the full paper online, or download to your device. The full volume is available in paperback here.


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