One of world's oldest pearl to be displayed at Abu Dhabi museum

One of world's oldest pearl

One of world's oldest pearl

ABU DHABI, 20th October, 2019 (WAM) -- The oldest known natural pearl in the world has been discovered by Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi archaeologists working at a Neolithic site on Marawah Island, just off the coast of Abu Dhabi.

Dubbed the ‘Abu Dhabi Pearl’, it was found in layers that have been radiocarbon dated to 5,800-5,600 BCE, during the Neolithic period. The discovery is proof that pearls and oysters were being used in the UAE nearly 8,000 years ago, and represents the earliest known evidence for pearling yet discovered anywhere in the world.

t has been suggested that ancient pearls were possibly traded with Mesopotamia in exchange for highly-decorated ceramics and other goods. The finds at the Jebel Buhais cemetery suggest that pearls were also probably worn as jewellery by the local population.

The art of pearling required an in-depth knowledge of pearl beds and their locations and expert seafaring skills. Once these were mastered by the ancient inhabitants of Marawah, pearling was to remain a mainstay of the UAE’s economy for millennia. The late 16th Century Venetian jeweller, Gasparo Balbi, who travelled through the region, mentions the islands off the coast of Abu Dhabi as a source of pearls. The industry flourished until the 1930s.

The Abu Dhabi Pearl, on loan from the Zayed National Museum collection, will feature in the special exhibition 10,000 Years of Luxury, taking place at Louvre Abu Dhabi from 30th October 2019 to 18th February 2020.

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Kari's Note: Since I read this article I've heard about an even older pearl, 8,500 years old. Here's the reference:

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