“The extension of excavated area and sounding during the next season, with the help of the Ministry of Heritage and Culture, will probably complete our understanding of this large monument and the whole site. Our fieldwork started in December 2015, with one to three months every year. Other excavations were done prior to ours,” he mentioned.
In Bisya/Salut, the researches of the French Archaeological Mission in Central Oman focuses on two points. “The complete survey and photogrammetric 3D model and map of the whole area (including the main monuments), and until now the excavations of one monument, the largest tower in the plain: Salut Tower 2 (ST-2). It is surrounded by two deep ditches that were used at least to protect the tower against the floods coming from the wadi. About the tower itself, its function is still unclear. Other known towers are smaller and a well can be found in the centre. But in ST-2, we did not yet find this well, and we observed a complex internal structure. Also, this building has a long history: It was first built about 3000 BCE (Bronze Age) and used during the centuries. After a long abandonment, the function probably changed a lot, but evidences of occupation during the Iron Age and the Islamic period were observed.”
Speaking about the pre-Islamic nation, Dr Gernez mentioned, “The initial crucial factor to know is that the history of the pre-Islamic instances is extremely extended: Between the initial constructions in Salut and the starting of Islam, there is much more than three,500 years.
“Between circa 3000 BCE and circa 1800 BCE, this land (including all regions between the Gulf coast and Masirah Island) is known as Magan from the Mesopotamian texts. During this period, the region does not seem to be united, but an ensemble of small chiefdoms sharing a same culture. “The economy was focused on three main points: Copper mining, production and exportation; The agriculture in oasis (based on date-palm tree) and maritime life (especially fishing, and trade with Meluhha (Pakistan), Marhashi (Iran), Dilmun (now the Gulf coast including Bahrain) and Sumer (Iraq); Due to the global warming and drying, and the end of trade (except with western Iran), there was a long crisis that lasted several centuries,” he explained. Two principal adjustments occurred, the improvement of the Falaj irrigation method provided a second life to the oasis in Central Oman, and the domestication of camels opened new trade route inside Arabia, mentioned Dr Gernez.
“Moreover, the copper production increased substantially. At this time, about 1300-300 BCE, the land is known as Qade, and one king, called Pade who has his residency in Izkie (probably modern Izki) is mentioned in an Assyrian text. About their culture, we don’t know what was their beliefs, but the most important symbol seems to be the snake (a lot of copper snake figurines come from cultic sites, like Salut and Mudhmar (near Adam)),” he concluded.
Information Source: Muscat Daily