Unpublished coins from Al-Zubarah: Scientific and economic analysis
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Qatar Museums Authority (QMA) has kindly permitted the research team to study and publish a number of coins discovered in the old town of Al-Zubarah. The coins are now housed at the 19th century re-built of Al-Zubarah Fort. In partnership with the University of Copenhagen, QMA unearthed these coins amongst other finds during fieldwork between November 2009 and March 2010 at areas EPO1 and EPO2 at the old town of Al-Zubarah. Another group of coins were found at different locations in the old port-town (Zu/787, Zu/1367, Zu/1434, Zu/1435, Zu/1436, Zu/1437). The main goal of this research is to examine the coins, their material composition, and their historical and economic implications. The coins (Zu/111) were chemically treated and studied by optical microscopy. They date back to the reign of Sultan Selim III (1761-1808), a revolutionaryminded Sultan of the Ottoman Empire. One side of a coin has the calligraphic signature (tugra) of Sultan Selim III, and the other has the coin's economic trade value, date and place of minting. The coins excavated at Al-Zubarah indicate how it was an important commercial port for Qatar in that era. This highlights the site's economic history and the material analysis enhances our understanding of its history.