(MENAFN - Arab Times) Polish archeologists from the Polish Centre of Mediterranean Archaeology, University of Warsaw (PCMA), who are on an archeological mission in Kuwait in cooperation with Kuwait's Department of Antiquities and Museum of the National Council for Culture Arts and Letters (NCCAL) revealed on Monday that over 180 sites of different structures, pottery assemblages, farms, enclosures and desert wells were identified, registered, documented and finally inserted into the map as a result of the two-month joint Kuwaiti-Polish Archaeological Mission (KPAM) on Failaka Island that started on Feb 8 this year.
Aside from the archaeological mission on Failaka Island, the KPAM also excavated sites in As-Sabbiya region for the seventh time, focusing on the "Tumuli Graves and Other Stone Constructions in the As-Sabbiya Region Research Project" whose results were also discussed by the team during a press conference held at the Embassy of Poland in the presence of Ambassador Janusz Szwedo, First Counsellor and Deputy Head of the Mission Roman Strzemiecki and Shehab A.H. Shehab, the Director of the Department of Antiquities and Museums - NCCAL.
"Summing up the results of the survey conducted by the joint Kuwaiti-Polish Archeological Mission alongside the island coast, it is very important to recognize the archeological evidence on Failaka. We did a comprehensive and intensive survey of the area and we have to stress the importance of the cultural heritage that has been discovered on Failaka Island and what will be found in the coming years. Therefore, there is a need for the implementation of a program to salvage the archeological sites," stressed Dr. Franciszek Pawlicki of the University of Warsaw who is a part of the KPAM.
He revealed that the regions of As-Sabbahiya, Um ad-Dakhan, Matitah, Khariab El-Desht and Mourghy should be regarded as archeological sites with the huge number of different historical structures dating back to the mid and late Islamic period. "In our opinion, these sites and the areas around them should be excluded from any modernization program of the island, at least until the research is fully completed," he pointed out.
Pawlicki outlined that in the meantime, a comprehensive historical study of the development of Islamic settlements located on the southern and northern coasts should be undertaken to understand the relationship between villages. He added that no settlement existed in isolation and the availability of water might be a potential factor related to the phenomenon of their clustering in Um ad-Dakhan, As Sabbahiya, Kharain el-Desht, Mourghy or El Saad El-Aliy, Matitah with large gaps in between. "Further archeological exploration could result with much more information about all other occupation practices of the inhabitants of Failaka," he stated.
On the other hand, the archeological investigations in As-Sabbiya region in north Kuwait, that have been carried out by the KPAM led by Prof. Piotr Bielinski since 2007, aimed at surveying and cataloguing grave sites and other stone structures, exploration of chosen grave sites, especially those endangered by construction work, investigating old desert well network and exploration of a prehistoric settlement site from the period of the Chalcolithic Ubaid culture (6-5th Millennium BC).
According to the team, the plateau of As-Sabbiya has yielded numerous stone structures mainly circular tumuli graves made of rough stones that are scattered throughout the plateau of As-Sabbiya, stretching out between the ridge of Jal Az-Zor and the coastal plain.
"This season, eight stone structures were explored in two different areas at Muheita and Nahdin. In the first sub-region, our team excavated a cluster of five structures, including two tumuli graves and another one most probably partially pulled down in the past - perhaps to provide stone material, an elongated structure and a small structure containing a bin made of slabs set vertically," disclosed Dr Lukasz Rutkowski of the PCMA, University of Warsaw.
Meanwhile, in the Nahdin sub-region, three tumuli graves have been investigated. "Important findings include a pottery vessel discovered in SB 102 and a rich collection of beads, comprising nearly 400 items, turned up in SB 100. The vessel is the first such find discovered by our team since the start of our field research in 2007. The rich assemblage of beads, in turn, proved to confirm an interesting funeral custom that adornments were being put into the grave during its construction that can be provisionally dated to the Early/Middle Bronze Age between the second part of the 3rd Millennium B.C. and the first half of the 2nd Millennium B.C.," explained Rutkoswski as he showed photos of the various beads made from tusk shells, mollusk shells, soft limestone and micro-beads unearthed from the sites.
The team disclosed that they will continue with their archeological mission and announce their new findings in December this year.
"We are working on the program to protect and preserve these archeological sites in cooperation with our Polish counterpart. We are also working on the plan to have some sites on Failaka to be included in the list of UNESCO heritage sites," concluded Shehab.