An 8,000-year-old pearl that archaeologists say is the oldest in the world will be on display in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Abu Dhabi authorities say this is evidence that pearl trading has taken place since the Neolithic period, according to AFP.
The natural pearl was found during excavation of the earliest architecture in the UAE on the island of Marawah, located off Abu Dhabi.
"The ground where the pearl was found was carbon in the years 5800-5600 BC, " said Mohamed al-Muabarak, president of Abu Dhabi's culture and tourism agency.
"The discovery of the world's oldest pearl in Abhu Dhabi clearly shows that our recent economic and cultural forests are very much rooted in prehistoric times . "
The 8,000 year old pearl is found in the UAE.Photo: AFP.
Excavation of the ruins at Marawh, which collapsed many Neolithic stone structures, also helped find pottery, beads made of shells and rocks, as well as flint arrows.
The pearl will be displayed for the first time in the 10,000 Years of Luxury exhibition from October 30 at the Louvre Museum of Abu Dhabi.
UAE experts believe that pearls were traded with ancient Iraqi Mesopotamians in exchange for ceramics and other goods. They can also be used as jewels.
"The Venetian jewelry dealer, Gasparo Balbi, who once traveled across the region, once said the islands off Abu Dhabi were a supplier of pearls in the 16th century , " the Abu Dhabi cultural agency said.
The pearl industry was once a mainstay of the UAE economy, but the trade faded in the 1930s with the introduction of Japanese farming pearls as well as conflicts that shook the world's economies.