al ain national museum
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The Al Ain national museum is one of the oldest museums in the United Arab Emirates. Its inception took place in 1969 by the former president of the United Arab Emirates Sheik Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nayan. The museum resides in the Al Ain city, located in the eastern region of Emirates of Abu Dhabi, bordered by the country Oman and adjacent to the city Al Burani. It is the second-largest inland city of Abu Dhabi.
The sole reason for the construction of the museum was to preserve the ancient tradition and culture of the UAE and display the ancient artifacts discovered from the nearby region. Today, the museum displays some of the oldest artifacts from the stone age including flint tools and arrowheads dating back from the sixth millennium BCE. The city is a great tourist attraction for its beautiful architecture, archaeological parks, palaces, and the beautiful Al Ain Oasis. Every year tourists from around the world visit this city to observe the ancient settlement of UAE and the cultural properties.
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The Al Ain National museum is placed next to Sultan Bin Zayed Fort, the childhood home of Sheik Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nayan and on the eastern side of the largest oasis of the city, the Al Ain oasis. The museum's inauguration ceremony took place on 2nd November 1971 by the former Ruler's Representative of the Eastern region of Abu Dhabi Sheik Tahnoun bin Mohammad Al Nayan. The Al Ain national museum represents two main aspects of the United Arab Emirates. First, its ethnographic section showcases the cultural heritage of the UAE and second, its archaeological aspect that reveals the ancient architecture and artifacts of the region. The museum also showcases the techniques, skills, and craftsmanship of the ancient people living there.
Historical and Scientific Importance of The Al Ain National Museum
- The Al Ain National Museum showcases the archaeological findings of the Bronze Age civilization that existed between 3300 BC to 1200 BC and the remains of the Sumerian Civilization that existed in the region. The museum also showcases the tombs of Hafit-era 'beehives' near the ancient city of Mezyad.
- The Bronze age civilization began in the ancient near east, which is the historic area comprising of Western Asia, Mesopotamia the land between two rivers Tigris and Euphrates, and the East Mediterranean region. It is one of the major civilizations of the world that changed the course of our history and introduced us to new technologies and techniques of metal smelting.
- The Bronze age saw the rise of the Sumerian's rapid development and their innovations and techniques of making weapons and agricultural tools from bronze. Earlier bronze was smelted with arsenic which had nasty effects of poisoning those who involved in its production and handling.
- Later a big leap forward occurred when metals like copper and tin were discovered which yielded a stronger and more durable alloy. These alloys were used for making superior weapons, agricultural, hunting, and construction tools which were better from the earlier tools made with stones and copper.
- These advanced tools helped in winning wars, hunting fierce animals, and using their skin and meat for survival. The tools also helped in constructing houses and forts and producing greater yields of crops in agriculture. Due to such achievements, this era showed a rise in population as there was plenty of food for everybody.
- This led many individuals to get free from their daily works and pursue more advanced occupations like architecture, craftsmanship, artistry, and construction works. These individuals laid the foundation of this civilization whose works are reflected in the Al Ain National Museum.
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Details about the different sections of the Al Ain National Museum
The Al Ain National Museum consists of three main sections namely Archaeology, Ethnography, and Gifts. The details about every section are mentioned below: -
- The archaeology section of the Al Ain Museum includes artifacts from the ancient Bronze age civilization and archaeological exploration of the region surrounding the Al Ain city.
- The section includes 5000 years old pots imported from Mesopotamia that were excavated from the tombs located in the Jebel Hafeet region. The section also displays the archives of the 4500-year-old society of the Hili where the famous mudbrick structures were built.
- The Hili archaeological park in the museum includes the famous stone-constructed 'Grand Tomb' and other objects excavated from these tombs that are put on for display for the visitors.
- The museum displays 4000-year-old charming jewelry excavated from a tomb located in the Al Qattara area along with dozens of weapons made from bronze and copper. The design of jewelry and weapons shows the craftsmanship and skills of the ancient people of the UAE.
- 3000-year-old pot vessels belonging to the Iron age from Hili and Rumehila are also displayed in the museum. These pottery vessels were used by the ancient citizens to irrigate the Al Ain oasis.
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The next important part of the Al Ain National Museum is the Ethnography section. This section of the museum displays the tradition, culture, and daily life of the ancient people of the UAE in that region. The section illustrated the objects that were used in those time, the kind of education provided to the children, and how the society of that time was different from ours. The section also includes a huge collection of photographs showcasing the timeline of the establishment and development of the Al Ain, Liwa and the nearby areas of the United Arab Emirates.
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The Sheik Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nayan was a very great and respectable man and was the reason behind the development of the United Arab Emirates. He was considered very humble and generous and whichever country he visited he received gifts from their leaders. Like when he visited the United States of America after the historic Apollo 17 mission to the moon surface, he received a 'Moon-Rock' by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). This 'Moon-rock' is displayed in the Al Ain National Museum which is one of the greatest attractions of the museum. This section also includes other gifts that Sultan Al Nayan received from other countries.
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FAQs about the Al Ain National Museum.
Q. When was the Al Ain National Museum was built and on which year it opened for the visitors?
The Al Ain National Museum was established in the year 1969 and made public in 1971 after its inauguration ceremony by Sheik Tahnoun bin Mohammad Al Nayan.
Q. How old is the Al Ain museum? Are there any plans to make the restoration of the museum?
The museum was originally a fort that was built in 1937 and was the home of Sheik Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nayan and his family. Later it was decided to convert it into a museum to preserve and display the ancient artifacts and culture of the UAE and promote tourism in the region. According to the sources, in October 2018 there were plans of restoring the museum and the forts nearby.
Q. What are the other exciting tourist locations in Al Ain City other than the Al Ain museum?
Well, there are many exciting and fun places in the Al Ain city other than the Al Ain National Museum that will give you a very unique and authentic experience. Some of the local attractions and places are the Al Ain Oasis, Al Ain car museum, Wadi National Park, Al Jahili Fort, Hili Fun City, Jabeel Hafeet, and many more.