1,000-year-old Islamic coins discovered in Sharjah

Dirhams from the Abbasid dynasty confirm the region was an important trading centre a millennium ago

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Ancient silver dirham coins minted one millennium ago in Morocco, Persia, Al-Rai, the Khorasan region, Armenia and Transoxiana have been discovered in Sharjah.

A team from Sharjah Archaeology Authority made the discovery in the central region of the emirate.

The Islamic coins were stored in an Abbasid-style pot dating back to the 9th or 10th century AD.

This proves the early presence of the Abbasid dynasty in the region, said Dr Sabah Aboud Jasim, director general of the Sharjah Archaeology Authority.

Sharjah archaeologists discover ancient coins from Abbasid dynasty

Sharjah archaeologists discover ancient coins from Abbasid dynasty

The Abbasid Caliphate was the third such to succeed the Prophet Mohammed.

The rare coins bear the iconography of five caliphs, who were the chief Muslim leaders from the period, including Abu Jaafar Al Mansour, Mohamed Al Mahdi, Haroun Al Rashid, Mohamed Al Amin and Abu Jaafar Abdullah Al Maamoun.

The haul includes a silver dirham-link coin of Lady Zubaida, also known as Umm Jaafar, the wife of Caliph Haroun Al Rashid, as well as a copper Abbasid fils coin was also found.

The coins were minted in several geographical and administrative areas in the late 8th to early 9th century AD, or 154-199 AH of the Hijri period in the Islamic calendar.

The discovery documents a pivotal period in the history of Sharjah and the UAE during the Abbasid dynasty, and highlights the commercial activity taking place in the UAE and in Sharjah’s central region.

The coins, which travelled along several important trade routes to the Arabian Gulf and the UAE, confirm that the region was an important trading centre during that period.

This find is one of many made in recent months in the area. In February, archaeologists at Sharjah Archaeology Authority unearthed a treasure trove of 409 coins in Mleiha.

Many discoveries made in the area are now on display in the Mleiha Archaeological Centre, which opened to visitors in 2016 and charts the region’s history back to the Stone Age.

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Updated: September 29, 2021, 11:38 AM