As part of an initiative to introduce the wider community to Qatar’s archaeological history, Qatar Museums (QM) has launched Atharna, a programme through which Culture Pass members will have the opportunity to visit historical sites across the country through curated tours.
The curated tours aim to provide Culture Pass members with a gateway to discover the heritage of Qatar, from early medieval settlements, to 19th century forts, villages, towers, and mosques.
“Through Atharna, QM has put together a host of tours and workshops, during which our valued Culture Pass members can learn more about Qatar’s fascinating archaeological history. We invite our members to sign up early to attend one or more of these offerings, as space is limited,” Aisha Al Khater, Deputy CEO of Museum Affairs at Qatar Museums, said in a press statement.
Upcoming Atharna events include: A tour of Al Zubarah from 11am to 1pm on January 2. Once a thriving port bustling with fishermen and merchants, the town of Al Zubarah was inscribed into the Unesco World Heritage List in 2013. During this tour, Culture Pass members will have the chance to visit the iconic Al Zubarah Fort, the site museum, and the 60 hectare archaeological site of Al Zubarah on the northwest cost of Qatar.
On 9 January from 11am to 1pm, QM will host a workshop on Experimental Archaeology: How to make prehistoric stone tools. The aim of this workshop is to help participants understand the process of making chipped stone tools and their function.
As Culture Pass members, you will be informed about the different raw materials used in Qatar, while holding the original stone tools in your hands. During the experimental part of the workshop, you will be provided with basic training in knapping, so that you can have a go at producing your first stone tool.
On January 16, QM will lead the Mysterious Signs and Symbols: Jassasiya Rock Art Site tour from 11am to 1pm. Culture Pass members will visit Al Jassasiya, the most impressive of a dozen rock-carving sites in Qatar, and experience rock carvings known as ‘petroglyphs’, which can be found along the coast of Qatar as well as on Bahrain's nearby Al Hawar Island.
Meanwhile, an Unveiling Archaeological Sources pottery workshop from 11am to 1pm on January 23 will include a short presentation explaining the pottery making process, from clay to vessel. Different types of pottery found at Qatari heritage sites will be shown and discussed.
Participants will be able to hold pottery fragments in your hands, so that they can better feel and understand the characteristics of the different materials that are so relevant for the study of these leading artefacts. In the second part of the workshop, they will have a practical lesson in how to create your own a clay vessel.
All Atharna tours and workshops are open to Culture Pass members only. Culture Pass Plus or Culture Pass Family members can attend unlimited tours and workshops year round. While Culture Pass Basic members can attend one trial tour and workshop in a year.