Al Jassasiya in Qatar is one of the most enigmatic sites you will come across. The stone carvings in the area are not only well preserved, but will also provoke a lot of questions.
The site is set in northeastern Qatar. It is set between the villages of Fuwairit and Al Huwailah.
What to See
The biggest attractions here are of course the preserved stone carvings. Scientists estimate they go back to prehistoric times. It is one of those rare places in the country where you will see petroglyphs. These are made up of unique signs etched in stone.
What makes them unique is their preservation. There are several glyphs at the Al Jassasiya in Qatar. On two parallel “jebels” are representations of boats and animals.
There are other carvings on the rocks. These include the boats with several oars, donkeys and and scorpions at the rocks. Turtles outlines can also be seen. There are also numerous holes linked by channels. Water goes through them. Their exact purpose is unknown.
It is presumed that they were created to commemorate the importance of rain. Rains must have been a cause for celebration because it occurred so infrequently in the country. There are also some carvings that seem to resemble stars.
There are several theories to explain the origin and purpose of the carvings. In 1961, a Danish archaeological mission went to the site and studied the carvings. Since then, numerous researchers have gone there and studied the place. Several theories have been proposed but nothing definite has been ascertained.
Excavations have unearthed dwellings and ancient settlements. Pottery both local and foreign have been discovered. These date from the 15th century. However, the carvings are older than the potteries.
There are alternative theories however. Some researchers believe the rock outcrops are soft. The fact they erode quickly suggest they are not as old as they may seem.
There is no entrance fee to the site.
There are also 71 patterns in daisy shapes composed of 9 tiny holes. Their purpose is unknown, but some speculate they were utilized in a game known as “ailah”. There are different lines, but the most common are the double rows of seven shapes. They resemble cups.
Probably the most unusual feature at the Al Jassasiya in Qatar are the thick-finned fish fossils. Just like the rest of the designs, their purpose is not yet clear.