The Ministry of Heritage and Tourism has launched archaeological surveys and excavations for the 2022/2023 season in the form of 28 programmes distributed over various governorates of the Sultanate of Oman. The programmes are implemented in cooperation with local and international scientific institutions.
They include the archaeological site of Dibba, where the ministry is carrying out archaeological excavations. The archaeological site dates back to the Iron Age and it was discovered 10 years ago, in cooperation with an Italian mission from Sapienza University. The current season is the last in the excavation of the mass grave codenamed “CG2”.
Surveys and excavations will also be carried out at the Qamira site in the Wilayat of Dhank in the Governorate of A’Dhahirah. The site is one of the most important Bronze Age sites located on the ancient copper trade route, as evidenced by the huge stone buildings located on the road’s path.
More surveys and excavations are implemented at the Nafoon site in the Wilayat of Duqm in the Governorate of Al Wusta. Nafoon is an important site rich in archaeological evidences, such as coastal settlements filled with shells, ancient fossils and rock inscriptions, figures of camels and riders, as well as other symbols.
Survey and excavations will be also carried out in the archaeological sites surrounding the area of Bisyah in the Wilayat of Bahla (Governorate of A’Dakhiliyah). The excavation will be implemented by a mission from the Sorbonne University for the fourth season.
The ministry, in cooperation with an American mission from New York University, is working on the excavations at the archaeological sites of Bat, Al Khutm and Al Ayn in the Wilayat of Ibri (Governorate A’Dhahirah). Those sites are associated with the Bronze Age and the copper trade.
More of such surveys and excavations will take place at Al Tekha archaeological site in the Wilayat of A’Rustaq, the Governorate of South Al Batinah. For this programme, the work will be carried out in cooperation with a joint archaeological mission between Sultan Qaboos University and Italy’s University of Pisa.
The French National Centre for Scientific Research is carrying out a mission at Al Arid archaeological site in the Governorate of A’Dhahirah. The site includes archaeological towers and burials that date back to the third millennium BC.
There are also surveys and excavations being done at Al Khashbah sites in the Wilayat of Al Mudhaibi. Al Khashbah dates back to the Bronze Age and it includes towers dating back to the fourth millennium BC. Buildings in the site are being surveyed and excavated by the German mission from the University of Tuebingen.
The Ras Al Jinz site in the Wilayat of Sur, the Governorate of South A’Sharqiyah, is also witnessing survey and excavation work. Ras Al Jinz contains archaeological sites discovered more than three decades ago. The findings relate to trade and hunting in the Bronze Age.
A mission from Leiden University of the Kingdom of the Netherlands continues its work for the third season in conducting excavations at the site of Ras Al Jinz (RJ3), in addition to surveys and excavations at the archaeological site of Al Fulaij in the Wilayat of Saham, the Governorate of North Al Batinah. Al Fulaij site dates back to the pre-Islamic period. In this site, a square castle surrounded by circular corner towers were discovered, in addition to kilns and a furnace for the production of mortar.
This season includes surveys and excavation at the Sint Lake site in the Wilayat of Bahla, the Governorate of A’Dakhiliyah. This site dates back to the Stone Ages and the findings indicate human settlement in the region.
Moreover, studies are carried out at Khor Kharfout site (Governorate of Dhofar) which included settlements from the Stone Ages to the Islamic Era. The site was discovered several years ago.
Archaeological surveys and excavations are taking place at Al Baleed archaeological site in the Governorate of Dhofar, which is one of the important sites located on the coast. Al Baleed dates back to the pre-Islamic period all the way to the Islamic era.
The current work of the ministry includes surveys and other archaeological excavations at the Samharam archaeological site (Khor Rori) in the Governorate of Dhofar. Settlements in this site date back to the Iron Age.
The current programme includes archaeological surveys and excavations at Khor Grama site in the Wilayat of Sur, the Governorate of South A’Sharqiyah. Khor Grama is a coastal site that contains seven ancient tombs dating back to the Bronze Age.
As for the archaeological surveys in Al Jabal Al Akhdar or “the Green Mountain”, they will be conducted for the first season in cooperation with UK’s Newcastle University. Those surveys aim to study the archaeological prospects in the region, in addition to taking samples to reach more accurate results. Moreover,, the Spanish mission at the archaeological site of Halban in the Wilayat of Nakhal, the Governorate of South Al Batinah, is conducting surveys for the first season to several huge tombs. In addition, the survey will study findings which reflect architecture, the culture and burial rituals used in those tombs.