The ruins - bleh - the Tree of Life - fascinating stuff! Obviously there is an underground water source. I'm surprised no one has dug it up and killed the tree - yet.
Ruins of fort are unearthed
By SANDEEP SINGH GREWAL
October 05, 2010
Archaeologists have discovered the ruins of a fort that had been buried under sand around the tree, which survives alone in the desert despite an apparent absence of water.
"We always suspected archeological findings near the tree and upon excavation found a fortification with few rooms that dates back 500 years," Culture Ministry Under-Secretary Dr Isa Amin told the GDN yesterday.
He said the excavations had turned up artifacts and pottery, which had since been preserved.
"The Tree of Life is at the centre of the fortification that has been excavated by our team of experts," added Dr Amin. "We are in the process of co-operating with Bapco to work on projects in the area to improve facilities there."
However, the discovery has been criticised by members of the Southern Municipal Council - who fear the area could now be developed into a tourist destination and lose its natural appeal.
"The archaeological excavation work started a year ago near the Tree of Life and they explored different layers of the site," council services and public utilities committee chairman Dhiab Al Nuaimi said.
"Our concern is that the ministry wants to turn this natural wonder into a tourist attraction."
He said he would prefer the area to be left alone due to fears that people could start worshipping at the site.
Mr Al Nuaimi has previously expressed concern that the Tree of Life was being used for strange religious rituals, after old clothes and incense sticks were found stuck to the tree and some of its branches were burnt.
A soil and tree ring analysis conducted more than 20 years ago by historian Dr Ali Akbar Bushiri concluded the Tree of Life was an Acacia planted in 1582 AD. It was fenced off in 2007 after being targeted by vandals.