Early Islamic period 622–1000 CE
In 628 CE, the inhabitants of the administrative district of Al Hajar, which included the geographical area of present-day Bahrain, Al-Hasa in eastern Saudi Arabia and Qatar, joined the new religion of Islam. The territory of Qatar was occupied mainly by two tribal groups, the Tamim and the Abd al-Qays.
During the early Abbasid period Qatar was famous, even at the court of Baghdad, for its red-dyed woollen coats, horse breeding and pearls. The entire population of the region benefited greatly from the maritime traffic passing through the Gulf, from Basra to China via India and Southeast Asia, as demonstrated by the large number of archaeological sites particularly in the northern region of Qatar.
HISTORICAL CONTEXT - REGION/GULF/WORLD
Islam, both a religion and a civilisation, was born from the revelation to the Prophet Muhammad of a new monotheism and, at the same time, the foundation of the first state in Arabia. In 622, the Prophet's emigration (‘Hegira’ in Arabic) from Mecca to Medina marked the beginning of the Muslim calendar. By 632 when the Prophet died, Arabia was unified, and the new religion had taken hold throughout the Peninsula.
The great Meccan family of the Umayyads established a hereditary dynasty (661–750). The Umayyads set up their capital outside Arabia, in Damascus, and put in place the tools of imperial power: standardisation of Arabic writing; Arabisation of the administration; monetary reform; unification of weights and measures, etc. The Umayyad caliphate completed the first wave of Islamic conquests.
In 750, the empire reached its maximum expansion for three centuries, from Narbonne in France to Samarkand in Central Asia and Multan in Pakistan. The Abbasids, the second dynasty, asserted their rights as relatives of the Prophet and took over the Empire. In 762, the Abbasids moved the centre of gravity of the caliphate eastwards and founded a new capital, Baghdad, on the lands of the former Persian Empire. By the 9th century, the city had reached the dimensions of Rome or Constantinople at their peak.
PUBLICATIONS AND RESEARCH
GUERIN, A. & NA’IMI, F., 2010, ""Preliminary pottery study: Murwab horizon in progress, ninth century AD, Qatar."" in Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies, Archaeopress, Oxford, vol. 40, pp. 17–34.
GUERIN, A. & NA’IMI, F., 2009, ""Territory and settlement patterns during the Abbasid period (ninth century AD): the village of Murwab (Qatar),"" in Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies, Archaeopress, Oxford, vol. 39, pp. 181–196.
GUERIN, A., 1994, “Majlis et processus de sédentarisation. Étude ethnoarchéologique au Qatar,” in Archéologie Islamique 4, pp. 177–197.
HARDY-GUILBERT, Cl., 1991, ""Dix ans de recherche archéologique sur la période islamique dans le Golfe (1977-1987), Bilans et perspectives,"" in Y. Ragib (ed.), Documents de l’Islam médiéval: Nouvelles perspectives de recherche, Institut Français d'Archéologie Orientale & CNRS, TAEI 29, pp. 134–140, fig. 4–8.
HARDY-GUILBERT, Cl., 1984, ""Fouilles archéologiques a Murwab, Qatar,"" in R. Boucharlat et J.-F. Salles (eds.), Arabie Orientale, Mésopotamie et Iran méridional: De l’Age du Fer au début de la période islamique, ERC 37, Paris, pp. 169–188.
KNUTH, E., 2017, ""An Early Islamic fort and settlement at Murwab,” in F. Hojlund (ed.), Danish Archaeological Investigations in Qatar 1956-1974, Qatar Museum Authority and Moesgaard Museum, Jutland Archaeological Society Publications, vol. 97, pp. 83–98.