Thursday, 6 May 2021
The Salut excavation programme which started in 2004 under the supervision of the Office of His Majesty the Sultan’s Advisor for Cultural Affairs in cooperation with the Italian Mission to Oman from University of Pisa, recently made some new excavations.

Excavations in Salut discover cemetery

It revealed the presence of a necropolis [cemetery], from which some 30 graves that have been excavated, all robbed in antiquity. Part of the necropolis was established on best of buried older structures.

“Some graves contain luxurious materials, such as bronze drinking sets of which the most astonishing element is a bowl to which a shaped spout was applied. Three horse-protome spouts have been so far discovered, plus another one with a hybrid human/animal representation,” stated Professor Alessandra Avanzini, head of the Italian Mission to Oman (IMTO), overseeing the excavation project.

Addressing a press meet on Wednesday she stated, “In addition to other finds like jars, pilgrim flasks, there is an abundance of iron arrowheads, daggers, and swords. This indicates that the graves belong to soldiers of an old battle in Salut. The grave-goods from this new necropolis also reflect the renewed inclusion of Salut in a far-reaching trade network, as objects from Mesopotamia, Persia, Yemen, and the Roman Empire are witnessed.”

The archaeological supplies that have been found prove the lengthy history of Salut, the heart of Magan culture in historical Oman.

“Materials also showed the existence of long-distant contacts with different ancient civilisations. In the third millennium BC, there is evidence of imports and contacts with the Indus valley, Persia, and Mesopotamia.”

The dates obtained from the current evaluation witness the fantastic antiquity of the city of Salut, founded about the mid-second millennium BC.

“A number of Bronze Age graves on the hills adjacent to Salut city were also excavated, witnessing a great variability in their structure. Some of them have already been restored to allow a good comprehension of their original aspects also to non-experts.”

The series of discoveries at Salut emphasise the richness of its cultural heritage, dating back to the early instances of Omani civilisation. The spot reflects the depth of its history, and the strength and power of the Omani ancestors given that ancient instances in producing an urban method. “By the end of 2015, a large stone wall was uncovered dated to the Iron Age. It was part of a large settlement – the ancient city of Salut. The layout of some parts of the city is now more clear; we excavated numerous buildings, constituted by two or more rooms, separated by narrow streets. An impressive stone-built terrace system occupies the whole hill. These monuments are the highlight of the recent excavations.”

The city was constructed on a rocky hill and in the plain that surrounds it in a very carefully planned architecture, which also consists of an in depth water drainage method. This impressive project manifests the genius of the Omani ancestors. A test trench dug via the deposits inside 1 of the biggest terraces in the city revealed the presence of manured soil, hence possibly hosting cultivated plots. Perimeter containment walls have been developed by the Omani ancestors, then they have been filled with soil to develop terraces with an even surface.

Excavation is also continuing inside a monumental terrace constructed at the foot of the hill, which extends more than the plain. Here, what appears to be a huge cistern and/or effectively has been found, and excavated so far to a depth of a lot more than 8m.

Several components of the settlement (the in depth nature of the all round preparing, the normal layout of the buildings, the presence of an inner street network, an articulated drainage method, the presence of fortified places, and the probably existence of places destined to various crafts) indicate a sophisticated project preparing. “Large jars gathered inside one room indicate its destination as a warehouse. The huge quantity of pottery strongly suggests that pottery making should have been carried out at the site.”

Information Source: Muscat Daily

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