The dawn of the Islamic era? The excavation of Yughbī in the Crowded Desert of Qatar
by Jose C. Carvajal López, Kirk Roberts, Laura Morabito, Gareth Rees, Frank Stremke, Anke Marsh, David M. Freire-Lista, Robert Carter & Faiṣal ‘Abd Allāh al-Na‘īmī. Pages 53-69 from Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies Volume 50 2020
edited by Daniel Eddisford. PSAS.
This paper introduces the main results of the excavation at the site of Yughbī during the last season of fieldwork of The Crowded
Desert Project in the north-west of Qatar between March and April 2018. While the area of Yughbī was occupied for a long period
of time, this paper focuses on a small number of stone buildings that dated mainly to the Umayyad period (AD 661–750), but also
with reference to a more extended occupation that may be dated as early as the late Sasanian-Rāshidūn caliphate period (AD
498–661), and perhaps even earlier, to the early ‘Abbāsid period (c. AD 750–900). The Umayyad phase includes stone buildings
that served as a permanent or semi-permanent base for a nomadic group in the process of sedentarization, or recently settled at
the site. The finds of pottery, glass, metals, and other materials indicate that the community living at the site was well integrated
within a wider landscape that included economic interests in the desert and the sea, and even long-distance connections.