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Archaeological recording of Heidelberg University in Oman, April & December 2014, May 2015

Yule, Paul

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The Ministry of Heritage and culture generously allowed me to tender a new archaeological project. They had conducted plan excavation at important sites at Omani Dibba (large Bronze Age corridor tombs) and at al-Saffah (Early Iron Age (EIA) foundry site), the latter some 45 km east of the border to Abu Dhabi emirate in Mintiqah al-Dhahirah. The object of my visit (16.‒20.04.2014) was to do first recording of the fascinating finds from al-Saffah. Of the numerous (667 registered) finds mostly in copper alloy from that site, I photographed, drew, and otherwise recorded 143, in order to judge the amount of time needed for the cataloguing. By May 2015, some 220 artefacts had been documented. Maurizio Tosi (Muscat) and Francesco Genchi (Bari) kindly provided me the site report and a first database of the finds. In 2014 the ministry had one third of the metal finds restored, which now can be drawn, photographed and otherwise studied. The site is of EIA date, to judge from the finds and radiocarbon dates. I took the opportunity together with ministry inspectors to visit the undocumented Samad Late Iron Age (LIA) settlement sites of al-ʿAtqiyah/J. Ṣunsunah and al-ʿAtqiyah/J. Nejd. Such are quite rare. A further visit from 03.‒13.12.2014 allowed a long-desired opportunity to begin documenting other such sites at Ibrāʾ I0052; Wadi Maḥram/Qariyat al-Saiḥ; al-Moyassar M34, M4304; Samad al-Shān S01; S07, SX; Ṭīwī/al-Jurayf tw0002. Four selected LIA sites are described. Negar Abdali (Heidelberg) recorded key al-Saffah artefacts with a 3D scanner curated in the new National Museum in Muscat. This project goes by the name of the Heidelberg University ‒ Ministry of Heritage and Culture Virtual Museum Project. Most interesting is the occurrence of the finds in what appears to be a single-period context. Never before have we had a context like this one. Artefacts of EIA and a few of pre EIA date evidently were taken as a source for metal production. Numerous new artefact classes occurred. Moreover, a large selection of miniature votive weapons occurred.

Document type: Article
Date: 2015
Version: Primary publication
Date Deposited: 04 Jan 2016 09:01
Faculties / Institutes: Research Project, Working Group > Individuals
Controlled Subjects: Qaryat al-Saih, Sunna, Umm Al-Kaiwain, Kasematte, Vorrömische Eisenzeit
Uncontrolled Keywords: casemate walls; Qaryat al-Saih; Samad Late Iron Age; Sunsunah; Umq al-Rabakh
Subject (classification): Other Languages
Countries/Regions: Mesopotamia, Persia
Paper series:
Schriften von Paul Yule32