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.
Five tombs, which may belong to the Umm-an Nar period, were seen during archaeological survey in 2006. They surround a rocky promontory at the top of which is set a serie of 13 Hafit tombs.
This mission 2018 aims to begin the excavation of one of these graves.
The excavation of these tombs obviously takes place in the continuity of the “Joint Hadd Project” program, initiated in 1985 by Serge Cleuziou and Maurizio Tosi, which aimed 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, these excavations taking place in the Ja’alan region will contribute to highlight the leading role that Oman played during this period in international trade.
The program’s point comes from the site’s location itself : if the coast line has been excavated from long time and is quite well known today, the vicinity of the khor stays unstudied until now.
The excavation of these graves is interesting for several reasons.
The first reason is obvious as very few tombs of the Umm-an Nar period (2700-2000 BC) have so far been excavated in the Arabian Gulf. Thus, the funerary practices of the Umm-an Nar period, which covers more than seven centuries, are currently known only through about thirty graves. The main objective of this excavation is therefore to extend the existing knowledge concerning populations and funerary practices of the Umm-an Nar period.
Then, located only approx. ten kilometers inland, these graves are to be connected with the coastal sites of Ras al-Hadd and Ras al-Jinz. Thus, if their dating were to be confirmed, they would be able to participate in highlighting the intense exchange network that is being set up in Oman during the third millennium between the interior and the coasts. Umm an-Nar and Tell el-Abraq on the Gulf coast and Ras al-Hadd and Quriyat on the Arabian Sea take an important part in the international trade that is taking place at this time. They are also places from where foodstuffs of the sea leaved to the inland of the country (Berger, Cleuziou et al. 2005).
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