Abu Dhabi - February 22, 2009: Kim Burke, logisitcs manager of GRM International (a soil survey company based in Abu Dhabi) found a bronze age scroll on the ground surface near Madinat Zayed. The scroll is thought to be the oldest artifact yet found in the UAE. Lauren Lancaster / The National *** Local Caption ***  LL_22.02.09 -Kim Burke058.jpg
Kim Burke, logistics manager of GRM International, found the bronze age scroll on the ground surface near Madinat Zayed.

Rewriting part of Arabia's ancient history



ABU DHABI // For 5,000 years, the tiny cylinder of stone lay forgotten in the desert at the edge of the Empty Quarter. If not for a chance visit by someone whose eye had been honed by a career spent noting the most subtle differences in the environment, it would still be there now, instead of rewriting part of the ancient history of Arabia. For the past two years, Kim Burke, an Australian soil scientist, had been part of an Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (EAD) team taking samples from about 50,000 sites across the emirate when his schedule brought him to a location near Madinat Zayed. "In our job, you have to identify rocks in the survey because it gives you an idea of the soil formation and where the soil comes from. "After a while your eye becomes trained," he said. "I was wandering around making notes about the different types of soil and surveying the rock and vegetation. "All the rocks in the area are black and dark brown, then I saw something that was a different colour. At first I thought it was plastic then I looked at it and saw these patterns on it." What Mr Burke had found last summer was a stone cylinder seal that, for Bronze Age Mesopotamians, was a way of proving their identity and provenance. What it lacked in size - slightly fatter and shorter than the last joint of Mr Burke's little finger - was made up for by its importance, because it was the first time an artefact of its age and type was been found in the Arabian Peninsula. Mr Burke took it back to Abu Dhabi and, through EAD, was put on to Peter Hellyer, the former executive director of the Abu Dhabi Islands Archaeological Survey, who has been studying the archaeology of Al Gharbia for 15 years. He suggested that photographs of the seal - including its imprint rolled out on to a piece of Blu Tack the Burkes had lying around, replicating the way the seal would have been used on wet clay 5,000 years ago - should be e-mailed to one of the world's leading experts in the history of the area, Prof Dan Potts, at the University of Sydney, Australia. Prof Potts, a Harvard University-educated authority on the Fertile Crescent from which modern civilisation stemmed, was able to identify it "unquestionably" as an import from what is now southern Iraq. The distinctive markings indicated it was from the ancient city of Uruk and he said it was most likely from the brief Jamdat Nasr period. "Extremely interesting! This is a definite Jamdat Nasr-style seal ... dateable therefore to circa 3100-2900 BC, and unquestionably a Mesopotamian import," the professor wrote. "It's a classic type with pig-tailed women, ladder-like motif (couch), and spider. There are women, usually pigtailed, squatting ... sometimes on couches in a row." The spider was a common theme in Sumerian mythology, in which Uttu, the goddess of weaving and clothing, is often depicted as a spider. The Jamdat Nasr era dates from near the start of the Bronze Age, which spanned the years 3100BC to 1200BC. For Prof Potts, one of the most interesting aspects of the Madinat Zayed find was its style, different to cylinder seals, dated at between 400 and 1200 years older and found in places such as Hili on the outskirts of Al Ain. Mr Hellyer said the location of the find was equally interesting. There had been no previous publications of Bronze Age remains from the middle of Al Gharbia, the western desert of the UAE. "Sites from the Bronze Age are known from the coast and islands of Al Gharbia, but nothing from this period has ever been reported from the central and southern deserts of the area," he said. "There is pottery of the same date found in Al Ain [but] this is the middle of the deep desert. We've got plenty of stuff from the late Stone Age and then the climate got a lot drier and a lot of lakes dried up. In the western desert, we've got virtually nothing else from the end of the late Stone Age until the late Islamic period, covering the last few hundred years." jhenzell@thenational.ae

Company Profile

Company name: Namara
Started: June 2022
Founder: Mohammed Alnamara
Based: Dubai
Sector: Microfinance
Current number of staff: 16
Investment stage: Series A
Investors: Family offices

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Specs

Power train: 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 and synchronous electric motor
Max power: 800hp
Max torque: 950Nm
Transmission: Eight-speed auto
Battery: 25.7kWh lithium-ion
0-100km/h: 3.4sec
0-200km/h: 11.4sec
Top speed: 312km/h
Max electric-only range: 60km (claimed)
On sale: Q3
Price: From Dh1.2m (estimate)

UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
SPECS

Engine: 4-litre V8 twin-turbo
Power: 630hp
Torque: 850Nm
Transmission: 8-speed Tiptronic automatic
Price: From Dh599,000
On sale: Now

THE SPECS

Engine: 1.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder

Transmission: Constant Variable (CVT)

Power: 141bhp 

Torque: 250Nm 

Price: Dh64,500

On sale: Now

SPECS: Polestar 3

Engine: Long-range dual motor with 400V battery
Power: 360kW / 483bhp
Torque: 840Nm
Transmission: Single-speed automatic
Max touring range: 628km
0-100km/h: 4.7sec
Top speed: 210kph
Price: From Dh360,000
On sale: September

Company Profile

Name: HyveGeo
Started: 2023
Founders: Abdulaziz bin Redha, Dr Samsurin Welch, Eva Morales and Dr Harjit Singh
Based: Cambridge and Dubai
Number of employees: 8
Industry: Sustainability & Environment
Funding: $200,000 plus undisclosed grant
Investors: Venture capital and government

Film: Raid
Dir: Rajkumar Gupta
Starring: Ajay Devgn, Ileana D'cruz and Saurabh Shukla

Verdict:  Three stars 

MEDIEVIL (1998)

Developer: SCE Studio Cambridge
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Console: PlayStation, PlayStation 4 and 5
Rating: 3.5/5

UAE athletes heading to Paris 2024

Equestrian

Abdullah Humaid Al Muhairi, Abdullah Al Marri, Omar Al Marzooqi, Salem Al Suwaidi, and Ali Al Karbi (four to be selected).

Judo
Men: Narmandakh Bayanmunkh (66kg), Nugzari Tatalashvili (81kg), Aram Grigorian (90kg), Dzhafar Kostoev (100kg), Magomedomar Magomedomarov (+100kg); women's Khorloodoi Bishrelt (52kg).

Cycling
Safia Al Sayegh (women's road race).

Swimming

Men: Yousef Rashid Al Matroushi (100m freestyle); women: Maha Abdullah Al Shehi (200m freestyle).

Athletics

Maryam Mohammed Al Farsi (women's 100 metres).

Sarfira

Director: Sudha Kongara Prasad

Starring: Akshay Kumar, Radhika Madan, Paresh Rawal

Rating: 2/5

SPEC SHEET: APPLE IPHONE 14 PRO MAX

Display: 6.7" Super Retina XDR OLED, 2796 x 1290, 460ppi, 120Hz, 2000 nits max, HDR, True Tone, P3, always-on

Processor: A16 Bionic, 6-core CPU, 5-core GPU, 16-core Neural Engine

Memory: 6GB

Capacity: 128/256/512GB / 1TB

Platform: iOS 16

Main camera: Triple 48MP main (f/1.78) + 12MP ultra-wide (f/2.2) + 12MP telephoto (f/2.8), 6x optical, 15x digital, Photonic Engine, Deep Fusion, Smart HDR 4, Portrait Lighting

Main camera video: 4K @ 24/25/30/60fps, full-HD @ 25/30/60fps, HD @ 30fps, slo-mo @ 120/240fps, ProRes (4K) @ 30fps; night, time lapse, cinematic, action modes; Dolby Vision, 4K HDR

Front camera: 12MP TrueDepth (f/1.9), Photonic Engine, Deep Fusion, Smart HDR 4, Portrait Lighting; Animoji, Memoji

Front camera video: 4K @ 24/25/30/60fps, full-HD @ 25/30/60fps, slo-mo @ 120/240fps, ProRes (4K) @ 30fps; night, time lapse, cinematic, action modes; Dolby Vision, 4K HDR

Battery: 4323mAh, up to 29h video, 25h streaming video, 95h audio; fast charge to 50% in 30min; MagSafe, Qi wireless charging

Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.3, NFC (Apple Pay)

Biometrics: Face ID

I/O: Lightning

Durability: IP68, dust/splash/water resistant up to 6m up to 30min

Cards: Dual eSIM / eSIM + eSIM (US models use eSIMs only)

Colours: Deep purple, gold, silver, space black

In the box: iPhone 14 Pro Max, USB-C-to-Lightning cable, one Apple sticker

Price: Dh4,699 / Dh5,099 / Dh5,949 / Dh6,799

SNAPSHOT

While Huawei did launch the first smartphone with a 50MP image sensor in its P40 series in 2020, Oppo in 2014 introduced the Find 7, which was capable of taking 50MP images: this was done using a combination of a 13MP sensor and software that resulted in shots seemingly taken from a 50MP camera.

Company profile

Company name: Fasset
Started: 2019
Founders: Mohammad Raafi Hossain, Daniel Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech
Initial investment: $2.45 million
Current number of staff: 86
Investment stage: Pre-series B
Investors: Investcorp, Liberty City Ventures, Fatima Gobi Ventures, Primal Capital, Wealthwell Ventures, FHS Capital, VN2 Capital, local family offices

Living in...

This article is part of a guide on where to live in the UAE. Our reporters will profile some of the country’s most desirable districts, provide an estimate of rental prices and introduce you to some of the residents who call each area home.

Without Remorse

Directed by: Stefano Sollima

Starring: Michael B Jordan

4/5

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: SmartCrowd
Started: 2018
Founder: Siddiq Farid and Musfique Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech / PropTech
Initial investment: $650,000
Current number of staff: 35
Investment stage: Series A
Investors: Various institutional investors and notable angel investors (500 MENA, Shurooq, Mada, Seedstar, Tricap)

If you go

The flights

Fly direct to London from the UAE with Etihad, Emirates, British Airways or Virgin Atlantic from about Dh2,500 return including taxes. 

The hotel

Rooms at the convenient and art-conscious Andaz London Liverpool Street cost from £167 (Dh800) per night including taxes.

The tour

The Shoreditch Street Art Tour costs from £15 (Dh73) per person for approximately three hours. 

KEY DATES IN AMAZON'S HISTORY

July 5, 1994: Jeff Bezos founds Cadabra Inc, which would later be renamed to Amazon.com, because his lawyer misheard the name as 'cadaver'. In its earliest days, the bookstore operated out of a rented garage in Bellevue, Washington

July 16, 1995: Amazon formally opens as an online bookseller. Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought becomes the first item sold on Amazon

1997: Amazon goes public at $18 a share, which has grown about 1,000 per cent at present. Its highest closing price was $197.85 on June 27, 2024

1998: Amazon acquires IMDb, its first major acquisition. It also starts selling CDs and DVDs

2000: Amazon Marketplace opens, allowing people to sell items on the website

2002: Amazon forms what would become Amazon Web Services, opening the Amazon.com platform to all developers. The cloud unit would follow in 2006

2003: Amazon turns in an annual profit of $75 million, the first time it ended a year in the black

2005: Amazon Prime is introduced, its first-ever subscription service that offered US customers free two-day shipping for $79 a year

2006: Amazon Unbox is unveiled, the company's video service that would later morph into Amazon Instant Video and, ultimately, Amazon Video

2007: Amazon's first hardware product, the Kindle e-reader, is introduced; the Fire TV and Fire Phone would come in 2014. Grocery service Amazon Fresh is also started

2009: Amazon introduces Amazon Basics, its in-house label for a variety of products

2010: The foundations for Amazon Studios were laid. Its first original streaming content debuted in 2013

2011: The Amazon Appstore for Google's Android is launched. It is still unavailable on Apple's iOS

2014: The Amazon Echo is launched, a speaker that acts as a personal digital assistant powered by Alexa

2017: Amazon acquires Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, its biggest acquisition

2018: Amazon's market cap briefly crosses the $1 trillion mark, making it, at the time, only the third company to achieve that milestone

RESULTS

Light Flyweight (48kg): Alua Balkibekova (KAZ) beat Gulasal Sultonalieva (UZB) by points 4-1.

Flyweight (51kg): Nazym Kyzaibay (KAZ) beat Mary Kom (IND) 3-2.

Bantamweight (54kg): Dina Zholaman (KAZ) beat Sitora Shogdarova (UZB) 3-2.

Featherweight (57kg): Sitora Turdibekova (UZB) beat Vladislava Kukhta (KAZ) 5-0.

Lightweight (60kg): Rimma Volossenko (KAZ) beat Huswatun Hasanah (INA) KO round-1.

Light Welterweight (64kg): Milana Safronova (KAZ) beat Lalbuatsaihi (IND) 3-2.

Welterweight (69kg): Valentina Khalzova (KAZ) beat Navbakhor Khamidova (UZB) 5-0

Middleweight (75kg): Pooja Rani (IND) beat Mavluda Movlonova (UZB) 5-0.

Light Heavyweight (81kg): Farida Sholtay (KAZ) beat Ruzmetova Sokhiba (UZB) 5-0.

Heavyweight (81+kg): Lazzat Kungeibayeva (KAZ) beat Anupama (IND) 3-2.

HAJJAN

Director: Abu Bakr Shawky 


Starring: Omar Alatawi, Tulin Essam, Ibrahim Al-Hasawi 


Rating: 4/5


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