The Arabian desert has been known as just that – a desert – including in archaeology. It was thought that there had been no iron-age activity in the area (the iron-age was around 1200 to 500 BC). However, research conducted over the past 30 years or so has slowly changed the knowledge and understanding of the habitation and culture of this area. And not just from the iron-age but long before that!
Thousands of stone structures, first discovered in the 1970s, and which are from 6500 to 2800 BC through to the present, have been identified across the region, as well as the whole of the Arabian Peninsula. They range from burial markers, tower and pendant tombs and open-air structures, also known as gates. The gates are now known as mustatils (meaning rectangle in Arabic).