World's oldest pearl found in Emirates

Pearl trade used to be a major factor of the area's economy during the 19th and 20th centuries.

Abu Dhabi skyline from marine (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Abu Dhabi skyline from marine
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
 The Department of Culture and Tourism in Abu Dhabi announced the discovery of the world's oldest known natural pearl on Sunday, DW reported.

According to DW, the pearl was discovered during archeological excavations among the ruins of a stone-age settlement on Marawah Island off the coast of the Emirati capital.

According to Abdulla Khalfan al-Kaabi, the director of the archeological unit that discovered the pearl, the 8000-year-old pearl shows "evidence that the pearl trade existed from at least as far back as the Neolithic period."

Pearl trade used to be a major factor of the area's economy during the 19th and 20th centuries, before pearl oyster farming was invented in Japan in the late 1920s. The industry thrived when what is now the United Arab Emirates was controlled by different colonial powers.

According to Emirati researchers, pearls might have been for trade in Mesopotamia which is considered to be one of the cradles of civilization. The researchers suggest they were traded for pottery among other goods in the ancient civilization that covered much of today's conflict-stricken areas of the Middle East.

The Marawah Island pearl, which Abu Dhabi's Department of Culture and Tourism calls the "Abu Dhabi Pearl," will be on display in the upcoming exhibit at the Louvre Abu Dhabi titled "10,000 Years of Luxury."