New evidence of Iron Age ritual practices in central Oman: 2017 excavations in Muḍmār East, near Ādam

Authors

  • Mathilde Jean
  • Maria Paola Pellegrino
  • Guillaume Gernez

Keywords:

Oman, Iron Age, pottery, weapons, cultic site

Abstract

In January 2017, the excavations of the French Archaeological Mission in Central Oman (FAMCO) at the Iron Age site of Mudmār East (Miḍmār), near Ādam (al-Dākhiliyyah governorate), extended to the slope of the hill overlooking Buildings 1 and 2. The buildings have already revealed substantial architectural remains and a quantity of valuable copper objects that qualified the location as a relevant Iron Age II site, probably linked with cultic activities. The excavation on the slope of the hill led to the discovery of new features, including a large terrace wall and three post holes. Moreover, a remarkable quantity of potsherds and metallic artefacts provides new evidence to suggest that the whole hill could be part of the cultic site. The abundant pottery assemblage is discussed, highlighting a set of uncommon shapes that might reveal a regional cultural specificity in central Oman, on the margin of the Iron Age culture of eastern Arabia. Among the metallic objects, some of the arrowhead and dagger types are known in the region, while other weapons appear to be unique and may only have a votive function. Additionally, numerous snake representations (copper figurines and ceramic decorations) suggest a strong connection with a cult that flourished during the Iron Age in south-east Arabia.

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Published

01/01/2018

How to Cite

Jean, M., Pellegrino, M. P., & Gernez, G. (2018). New evidence of Iron Age ritual practices in central Oman: 2017 excavations in Muḍmār East, near Ādam. Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies, 48, 125–141. Retrieved from http://archaeopresspublishing.com/ojs/index.php/PSAS/article/view/1016

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