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Kuwait island inhabitants used to install marks to guide ships

Dr Hamed Al-Mutairi
Dr Hamed Al-Mutairi The head of archeology at the National Council for Culture, Arts and Letters

KUWAIT: Inhabitants of the Kuwaiti island of Meskan used to install marks to guide ships’ captains to evade surrounding rocky spots. The island, populated during various periods of Kuwait history, is situated three kilometers from the larger Failaka Island and 15 kms (eight nautical miles) from shores of the mainland. It is largely sandy of 1.206 kms in length and 800 meters in width.

According to historians, Meskan Island had been resided by the Kuwaiti families, namely Bou-Rashed and Al-Awwad of the Awazem tribe. Relics found on it indicated that people lived on it during the Islamic empire times. Dr Hamed Al-Mutairi, the head of archeology at the National Council for Culture, Arts and Letters, said in an interview with Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) that artifacts were found on Meskan island during recent excavations. Among the relics, the excavators discovered foundations of small dwellings, presumed to be fishermen’s cottages, some coins, potteries brought from south of the Arabian Gulf and locally-made wares that had been used for drinking and food storage.

Residents of the island had mingled with peoples that lived during the Islamic empire times, he affirmed, adding that more excavations aimed at digging deeper into the ground were planned in the future. Its ownership had been shifted from Hamad Ibrahim Bin Abdullah Al-Rashed (Bou-Rashed) in a contract granted by the late Amir, His Highness Sheikh Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah. The Bou-Rashed family used to fish around it and set up makeshift minarets to guide ships to evade rocks skirting it. Being rich in turtles and birds, the island lures photographers and cameramen. Authorities are currently pondering security plans for the island, due to its strategic location. – KUNA

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