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World’s oldest natural pearl is in Abu Dhabi

Archaeologists from the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) have unearthed what is believed to be the oldest natural pearl in the world.

The pearl, now dubbed ‘The Abu Dhabi Pearl,’ was discovered on Marawah Island during an archaeological dig at a Neolithic site in the area.

Radiocarbon dating has put the pearl’s existence at around 5,8000-5,600 BCE (Before Common Era).

The discovery proves that pearls and oysters were already being used in the UAE as far back as 8,000 years ago.

The historic gem will be on display at Louvre Abu Dhabi from 30th October to 18th February as part of the 10,000 Years of Luxury exhibition.

Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of DCT Abu Dhabi, said that the find paid “testimony to the ancient origins of our engagement with the sea.

“The discovery of the oldest pearl in the world in Abu Dhabi makes it clear that so much of our recent economic and cultural history has deep roots that stretch back to the dawn of prehistory.”

This discovery has been just one of the many finds on Marawah Island since 1992.

Previous finds in the area reveal a sophisticated Stone Age village along with artefacts ranging from shell beads, ceramic vase, arrowheads and painted plaster vessel fragments.

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