The first campaign of the French Archaeological Mission of Khor al Jarama, placed under the authority of the Ministry of Heritage and Culture of Oman and the French Institut des Déserts et des Steppes, has been led by Eveha International from the 5 of February to the 11 of March 2018.
Dr. Christophe Sévin-Allouet (Éveha International)
Location and historical
The site of Khor al Jarāma is located approximately 10 km south-west of Ras al-Hadd, in the Ja’alan area.
The excavation of these tombs takes place in the continuity of the “Joint Hadd Project” program, initiated in 1985 by Serge Cleuziou and Maurizio Tosi, whose aim was to better understand the intense relations between Oman and the valley of the Indus during the third millennium (as evidenced by the sites of RJ2 or HD1). Thus, and more broadly, this new project which place in the Ja’alan area will contribute to highlight the leading role that Oman played during this period in the international trade between the two most important civilizations at that time : the Indus to the east and the Mesopotamia to the north.
The interest of this program also depends on its location itself. Indeed, although the coastline has been the subject of many investigations since the 1970s’, and is now quite well understood, the lagoon of Jarama is remained for its part on the sidelines of the studies. Thus, it remains today poorly documented, while it is obvious, as is the case in all lagoon contexts, that the presence of fish stocks in large quantities and easy to access has led the populations to occupy densely and exploit the surroundings.
Thus, there are here many issues.
On the scale of the necropolis it is necessary to characterize the period and duration of use of the latter, but also to conduct an in-depth study on the modalities and the variability of the funerary practices: as well in the architecture of the tombs than in the terms of deposits and treatments of the dead population. In other words, when, how and for whom this necropolis has been used?
More generally, at the scale of the lagoon, it will be necessary to find, if possible, the dwellings associated with these tombs and to understand the general conditions of occupation around the khor. At the request of the Omani authorities, a sub-aquatic survey in the lagoon could also be considered in order to possibly highlight the presence of a port of the Magan period, associated with the settlements of the same period brought to light by the different missions to Ras al-Hadd and Ras al-Jinz.
This project therefore concerns a general study of the populations that lived around Khor Jarama during Prehistory: their way of life, between acquisition of terrestrial resources and exploitation of the halieutic resources, but also their social organization and their funeral practices.
If this first campaign of excavations focuses on the study of this necropolis, the goal in the coming years is to continue researches and works in a global way around the lagoon.
How Eveha International Participates
Program Directorate and materials
Ministry of Heritage & Culture of Oman
Institut des Déserts et des Steppes
Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle (Paris)
Laboratoire VEPMO – CNRS UMR 7041 ArScAnCNRS