Qatar Natural History Group

People, Nature, Culture

April Talk: Between Sea and Desert: Murwab: 9th century Qatari village from the Early Abbasid period 

We welcome members and non-members alike and do not charge for our monthly talks. Doors open at 6:30 PM and we offer tea and biscuits and time to peruse the QNHG library before the meeting begins at 7:00 PM. Our Rambles and Membership tables will also be open shortly after 6:30. 
April  18, 2018 at 7:00 p.m. at Doha English Speaking School click on the link for direction.
Speaker: Dr. Alexandrine Guérin, Curator of Archaeological galleries of National Museum

Chairwoman’s note:

As our “season” winds down we find ourselves at the last 3 months of our talks and rambles. We haven’t stopped planning and have quite a few rambles going all the way into late June. There is still time to join us as new members and enjoy many opportunities to explore and enjoy Qatar. Individuals are now QR 40 and Families are now QR 80 as our membership year is beyond halfway. The next time to join will be at the above meeting.

If you have read the title of our talk and noted our speaker, then you know this is not the time to schedule your hair appointment. We are delighted to have such a noted and distinguished speaker come and share with us her extensive knowledge on this historical site in Qatar. Her experience with this site goes back to 1981 and I expect that the majority of us will be taking mental notes of this rarely publicized archaeological site.

Special note:
We, on the QNHG Committee, are all volunteers and, but one, are all expats which means that our time in Qatar is not forever. Consider what QNHG has offered you and perhaps you will want to offer that to others by volunteering on our Committee. Please contact me at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. It helps if you are an active member of our group and understand what we do and why we do it, but we can help you move into any position that will be available. A separate email will come out with requests, but if you are truly interested in volunteering, contact me. Even if you’ve mentioned helping before, and then haven’t been around, drop me a note or come and chat on the 18th.

Sheri Kenly
Chairwoman QNHG

From our librarian:

For those interested to learn more on subjects relevant to this month's talk, stop by our library and check out some of the titles below:

Heritage without Borders, 3rd Joint GCC Archaeology Exhibition, Doha - Qatar

  • Origins of Arabia (prehistory and geology)
  • Lost Worlds
  • Sea of Pearls: Seven Thousand Years of the Industry that Shaped the Gulf
  • Pages of Qatar's Pre-History
  • Excavations carried out at Al Zubara - Not to be lent out- Reference Only
  • Qatar and the Sea

Synopsis of talk

Our speaker will explain human occupation in Qatar during the early Abbasid period (9th century) through archaeological excavations, surveys and historical sources. Their economy was based on a mixed economy between desert and sea. The archaeological investigations now make it possible to present the village of Murwab with its 44 houses, its 2 mosques and its fortress. The spatial organization of the site shows phases of sedentarization of nomads. Material culture shows intense trade from the Near East to China. 

Short biography

It was during my first stay in Qatar, in 1981, on the Murwab excavation that I decided to orient my future research on vernacular architectures in desert environments (nomadic population), but at the edge of fertile zones (sedentary population). I continued my research by mixing studies of history, archaeology, architecture, Arabic language and civilization. This led me to work and study mostly in Arab countries (Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Bahrain, Kuwait and Syria). I returned to Qatar in 2000, after a successful stay at the Oriental Institute of Chicago, and for 10 years on Abbasid sites and working on trade routes with Asia (Cambodia - Angkor/Burma).



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