The Hafit period defines early Bronze Age human settlement in the United Arab Emirates and Oman in the period from 3200 to 2600 BC. It is named after the distinctive beehive burials first found on Jebel Hafit, an outlier of Al Hajar Mountains in the region of Tawam, which is composed of the UAE city of Al Ain and the adjacent Omani town of Al-Buraimi, and borders the Rub Al Khali desert. Hafit period tombs and remains have also been located across the UAE and Oman in sites such as Bidaa bint Saud, Jebel Al-Buhais and Buraimi.
The first find of Hafit era tombs is attributed to the Danish archaeologist PV Glob in 1959, and the first of many excavations of these took place a few years later.
Finds at Jebel Hafit include the remains of some 317 circular stone tombs and settlements from the Hafit period, as well as wells and partially underground Falaj irrigation systems, as well as mud brick constructions intended for a range of defensive, domestic and economic purposes. The Al Ain Oasis, in particular, provides evidence of construction and water management enabling the early development of agriculture for five millennia, up until the present day.
Pottery finds at Hafit period sites demonstrate trading links to Mesopotamia, contiguous to the Jemdat Nasr period (3100 - 2900 BC). Evidence of trading links with Mesopotamia are also found in the subsequent Umm Al Nar and Wadi Suq periods of UAE history.
In the region of Al-Ain, near Mezyad Fort and Jebel Hafeet on the border with Oman, the Jebel Hafeet Desert Park contains the original necropolis of Hafit Graves which led to the naming of this period in human history in the emirates. A series of ridges leading from the main part of Jebel Hafit toward Al Ain each contain groups of Hafit tombs.
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