Doha is one of the world's fastest growing cities, and major infrastructure projects are being developed to fulfil its needs as a modern capital city. Doha Metro, a major rail network to be built across Doha, is one such project. It will connect different areas of the city by four main lines. One of the stations assigned by Qatar Rail covers an area at the very heart of where the city of Doha was founded around 200 years ago.
Our archaeologists excavated in this area for a period of four months. We worked with the Origins of Doha Project team of UCL Qatar for part of this work, who helped us to document the evidence of Old Doha and rescue the artefacts found before the area was destroyed.
Architectural remains from different periods were recovered, from the early 19th century until modern times, within a depth of two meters of still preserved occupation deposits. Included were rooms with different structures, courtyards and alleys, as well as animal bones, keys, padlocks and bangles, a large amount of coins, imported pottery from other Gulf countries and porcelain from China and Europe. Diving weights used by pearl divers were among the finds, including a rare metal weight, probably used by pearl merchants, telling us how important pearl diving was in early Doha.