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Abstract

A series of archaeological sites in Qatar have been attesting multifaceted aspects of the society and daily life practices in the eve of oil industry, particularly in the period from the 17th to the mid-20th century. The archaeological walled town of Al-Zubarah, for instance, has been excavated, first in the early 1980s by a Qatari mission, and since 2010 by the University of Copenhagen, in partnership with Qatar Museum Authority. Due to its outstanding cultural importance to the common heritage of humanity, the town of al-Zubarah (from ca. 17th century to the mid-20th century) has recently been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The geostrategic location of the town on the north western coast alongside with its environmental landscape and physical remains such as the sea port, the fortified canal leading to the former Murayr and the rich archaeological discoveries, are attesting the town's role as a major pearl and trade center in the Gulf region. In addition, the uncovered quarters, palaces, courtyard houses and huts alongside with the town mosque, market and the other domestic architecture, are essential components of a major Islamic trade center, planned and built according to the Islamic law (Shari'a) and local social traditions. In addition to the uncovered architecture, the revealed material culture, particularly the large assemblages of vessels and tools made of different material for different purposes and originated from various regions are cinsidered a primary physical source for reconstructing multifaceted aspects of the social history, society inter-relations, daily life practices and contact with neighboring and far cultures. In light of texts, archaeological record and the field observations of the author, particularly during his excavation at al-Zubarah, this paper endeavors to reconstruct Qatar society and daily life practices in the period from the 17th through the mid-20th century, focusing on the following points: - Society and gender immediate needs in light of the uncovered architecture and in context with the Islamic law (Shari'a) and local traditions. - Communal identity and daily life practices in light of the uncovered material culture such as tools and vessels. - Evidences of contact with the surrounding regions and cultures.

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/content/papers/10.5339/qfarf.2013.SSHO-08
2013-11-20
2020-08-05
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