February 2011 Rambles

  February 2011 Overview: 

Saturday, Feb. 12th: Qal'at Ruwayda Archeological Site Ramble

REVISED DATE: Friday, Feb. 25th: Desert Driving & Safety 4X4 Ramble, Part II - Prerequisite ~ Desert Driving & Safety 4X4 Ramble, Part I (in other words you MUST have done the earlier Desert Driving and Safety ramble to participate in this one--NO EXCEPTIONS, this is for your safety, which is our main concern).
Saturday, February 12th: Ramble - Qal'at Ruwayda archeological dig
Due to a scheduling problem, we will not also be able to visit the Zubara City dig this weekend, but we will reschedule that trip for March.
PLEASE NOTE THE DIRECTIONS BELOW--WE WILL BE MEETING IN AL RUWAIS, AT THE NORTHERN END OF THE SHAMAL ROAD (Apx a one hour ride from Landmark). Please allow sufficient time for the drive, as we will be leaving the meeting spot promptly at 10 am.
Click here for pictures of the trip.
Dr. Andrew Petersen has again graciously volunteered to host our visit to the archeological site on which he and his crew have been working on up the road from Zubara, and to bring us up to date on their recent findings. For those of you who may not have visited this site with us, Dr. Petersen describes its background as follows:
Ruwayda is one of a number of Islamic period sites located on the northern coast of Qatar between Madinat al-Shamal and Zubara. The presence of the world’s largest pearl bed less than 10 km from this coast is probably the main reason for the location of these sites, which include the abandoned villages of Khuway and Jumail. In 2009 the University of Wales in collaboration with the Qatar Museums Authority began a programme of excavations at the largest of these sites, which is known as Ruwayda. The site comprises a large square fort approximately 100 metres per side and at least one and a half kilometres of mounds along the coast. Ruwayda is of particular interest because of its large size and because unlike to other sites on the coast it is not mentioned in written historical sources such as the accounts of Carsten Niebhur and other European travellers. There is also a possibility that the site is more ancient than the others, though this has yet to be proved. We will be visiting the site with Dr. Petersen as our guide. Afterwards, we will be going to a nearby abandoned village for snacks or lunch.
What to bring:
As per usual, bring sun lotion, a hat, and water - lots of water - along with plenty of food. The beach is an interesting place to explore, but not a great place to stop for lunch. We will need to make our own shade/rain protection since we are not guaranteed access to the village and its potential sun, wind or shelter from passing shower!
Just a reminder - We will be in primitive conditions, so bring along any toiletries you may need. The facilities at you home will be the last ones we see before heading north.
Some Special Requests from Dr. Petersen regarding this archaeological site visit:
Do NOT drive over or park on the site.
Do NOT pick up pottery or other artifacts from the site - these are part of the historical record and should be preserved in situ.
Although this site should be accessible to all cars if you drive slowly and carefully on the dirt road to the site, be prepared for the necessity of leaving cars at the Al Shamal parking lot and jumping into a four wheel drive vehicle to complete the last leg of the journey (there will, as always be ample room for all). Dr. Petersen will give us an update on road conditions when he meets with us at Al Shamal.
A SPECIAL NOTE TO PARENTS OF YOUNG CHILDREN: Do not expect that your children will be allowed in vehicles without the required safety seating. It is a car owner’s prerogative as to who rides in their car, and the conditions under which this occurs. If you want to guarantee a seat for your child, you must bring your own vehicle.;
Dogs are not allowed, as their droppings may interfere with chemical dating processes.
Remember - something that looks unimportant/innocuous and perhaps like trash to you should not be touched at an archeological site. Leave it as is, as and where it was found.
If you have children with you, be especially careful to watch out for their curious hands!
Feel free to ask Dr. Petersen about anything of interest you see during our tour.
Date: Saturday, February 12th
Rendezvous & Times: Small covered parking lot, to the right of the Al Shamal Roundabout GPS 26° 7'40.00"N; 51°12'31.82"E
Meet: 9:30 AM
Depart: 10:00 AM (promptly!)
Directions: From Landmark Mall we will head straight north through the construction on the Al Shamal Road, to its end. Our route is very simple; go north 97 km, or one hour, until the expressway ends at a roundabout. Turn right at the RA, and then take an immediate right into the parking lot bordering the RA. Dr. Petersen will meet us there and lead us about 5 kilometers west down the coastal road to the archaeological site.
Price per Adult:* Free
Price per Child (under 12 years-old):* Free
Organizer: John Tribuna, QNHG Rambles & Field Trips Coordinator – send texts to 6605.6762; no calls during business hours, and none after 9:00 PM


Friday, February 25th Desert Driving & Safety 4X4 Ramble

Part II: Rocky Desert Travel


This Four-Wheel Drive, off-road ramble is the second part of our desert driving & safety series and is only open to members who participated in the Desert Driving & Safety I program last December, since it builds on what we learned then. This workshop will concentrate on how to safely prepare, plan, initiate and carry out a trip in the more rocky desert environments we find here in Qatar. The emphasis will be on being responsible for your own safety & NOT depending on the kindness of strangers.


What to Bring:

As with all of our trips, you will need to bring food for snacks and lunch. If you take medications, bring enough to last for at least an extra day beyond what you expect. Also, make sure you have everything you need to be out in the desert, such as appropriate shoes, but especially plenty of water and sun lotion. The rains have arrived, so you may want to include some rain gear, too. As toilet facilities will be non-existent, make sure to bring a spade to dig a hole and cigarette lighter to burn your toilette paper.


If you have the appropriate off-road equipment, you should bring it. If you do not have all of the equipment you need, that is okay. We will discuss what is proper and what is not, as well as where quality equipment can be acquired locally.


Other Preparations/Concerns:

A Four-Wheel Drive Vehicle Is Mandatory. The terrain will be challenging, so you must make sure that your four-wheel drive vehicle is in good running condition. Double-check equipment, top off the gas/petrol tank, and generally get ready to go at least the night before departure. There will be no petrol available after the rendezvous. You must be fully ready to depart on time.


A SPECIAL NOTE TO PARENTS OF YOUNG CHILDREN: Do not expect that your children will be allowed in vehicles without the required safety seating. It is a car owner’s prerogative as to who rides in their car, and the conditions under which this occurs. If you want to guarantee a seat for your child, you must bring your own vehicle.


Rendezvous Date & Time: TBA to participating members







Price per Participant: Free

Organizer(s): John Tribuna, QNHG Rambles & Trips Coordinator

Phone: Cell: 6605.6762 – Please text. No calls during business hours or after 9:00 PM.