Archeologist uncovered evidence of human habitation in Qatar possibly dating back to the fourth and fifth millenia BC. In the fifth century BC the greek historian Herodotus referenced the Canaanites as Qatar's first inhabitants, while the country also features on old maps of the region, suggesting that Qatar has been known to seafarers and traders since ancient times. As islam swept the region on the seventh century AD, the inhabitants of Qatar are said to have aided the formation of the first Islamic Naval fleet.
Around the 13th and 14th centuries, Qatar enjoyed a favourable relationship with the Caliphates ( successor of Prophet Mohammed) in Baghdad and it became an important centre for pearl trading. Evidence from this Abbasid era ( Caliphate rule) can be seen in the architecture of Murwab Fort on Qatar's west coast.
The ancestors of today's ruling family, the Al Thanis, arrived in Qatar in the early 18th century. Originating from a branch of the Bani Tamin tribe from Najd in modern-day Saudi Arabia.