Freiha – University of Copenhagen

English / Arabic

Freiha

Situated 3.5km north of Al Zubarah is the large settlement of Freiha. The project has carried out surveys and excavations at this site since early 2010. Freiha was a coastal fishing village which is shown on the Carsten Niebuhr map of 1765. The settlement may date back to the 16th century, as suggested by ceramics from the recent excavations.

The area of settlement is large, but shifted laterally over time. A fort and a beach front mosque were built in the centre of the settlement. Excavations in other parts of the site have revealed courtyard houses similar to those found in Al Zubarah, although they were smaller and simpler in appearance.

Freiha is associated with a number of intra-tidal fishtraps, which were built and used by the settlement’s inhabitants. Previous excavations by QMA targeted the fort at Freiha, while QIAH excavations focused on the coastal mosque and domestic units in the settlement. The mosque was built in the traditional style of Qatari mosques, but was rebuilt and altered multiple times over its lifespan.