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You are here: Home / Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2021 / Fishing at the Late Islamic settlement in Kharā’ib al-Dasht, Failaka Island, Kuwait

Urszula Iwaszczuk, Agnieszka Pieńkowska, Wim Wouters, Anna Gręzak, and MArta Mierzejewska (2021)

Fishing at the Late Islamic settlement in Kharā’ib al-Dasht, Failaka Island, Kuwait

Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences, 13.

The Kharā’ib al-Dasht settlement, located on the north-eastern coast of the island of Failaka in Kuwait, has been excavated systematically since 2013 by the Kuwaiti-Polish Archaeological Mission. The investigated area yielded remains dated to the Late Islamic period, from the late seventeenth to the nineteenth century. In the northernmost part of the site, a fish processing area was uncovered, while the remains of residential structures (houses 1 and 2), as well as a mosque, were discovered in the eastern part of the site. Concentrations of fireplaces, hearths and ovens were discovered inside the houses and courtyards of what seems to be the centre of the settlement as well as from the periphery of the site. Fishing was evidenced not only by the presence of fish bones but also by recovered fishing technologies, including the remains of stone fish traps that were discovered in the coastal waters near to the site. The excavations yielded 12,182 bones of marine fishes. Twenty eight families are represented, including six families of cartilaginous fishes. Ariidae bones were most numerous followed by Haemulidae,Sciaenidae and Carcharhinidae. The analysis of the assemblage shows that fishing could have been of great importance to the inhabitants of the settlement. Moreover, we attest different patterns in the fish assemblages between the two different parts of the village. The fish processing area can be seen as a workplace, while the daily activity took place in the village. These differences can also be used to shed light on the fishing techniques these people used.
Peer Review, International Redaction Board, Impact Factor, Open Access