Metal awl or punch drilling tool, or medicinal tool, discovered in Murwab
Early Abbasid Period
Object Name: Awl tool
Period: Early Abbasid Period
Date: Late 8th to late 9th century
Provenance: Syria, Iraq, Iran
Dimensions: 5.3cm long, 0.2cm diameter
Medium: copper alloy
Registration Number: ARC.1959.21.130
Place Of Discovery/Findspot:  Murwab
This metal rod was discovered during excavations in 1959 in a private house in Murwab, northwest Qatar. This bronze alloy tool is cylindrical with tapering at both, now eroded, ends. It may have been an awl tool used to puncture wood or textiles. It could also have been used for medicinal purposes to apply potions and ointments, or simply as a stick to prepare them. Additionally, considering the large number of kohl applicators found in the excavations at Murwab, this object may have belonged to a make-up kit.
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.
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.
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