The new archaeological joint project on the site of Qurayyah, north-west Arabia: results of the first two excavation seasons

Authors

  • Marta Luciani
  • Abdullah S. Alsaud

Keywords:

Qurayyah, Bronze Age, Hellenistic/Roman period, 14C dates, Standard Qurayyah Painted Ware

Abstract

A joint multidisciplinary research project of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage and the University of Vienna, the investigations of Qurayyah — through systematic and stratigraphic, controlled excavations integrated with a comprehensive programme of radiometric determinations — have, for the first time, produced a reliable chronological frame for this major 'urban' oasis of North Arabia. A new GIS-based plan was drafted. Preliminary results indicate the formation of the permanent settlement took place during the end of the third millennium cal BC, significantly earlier than previously thought. Metallurgical activities on top of the local rock plateau characterize the first settlement on the site. In addition, the dates for the production of Standard Qurayyah Painted Ware (SQPW, formerly known as 'Midianite pottery') point to the early part of the Late Bronze Age as the incipient phase of its production. Manufacture of this bichrome painted assemblage is well documented through the exploration of a furnace for ceramics of this period. An additional pottery class, Red Burnished/Barbotine pottery, is confirmed as being earlier than SQPW and present on the site since, at the latest, the beginning of the second millennium BC. A Hellenistio/Roman-period building, possibly a residence and workshop, is documented in the residential area of the site. Geomorphological investigations have focused on the agricultural landscape of the human-made oasis through selected sampling of key locations of the water collection system in Qurayyah and its immediate surroundings.

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Published

01/01/2018

How to Cite

Luciani, M., & Alsaud, A. S. (2018). The new archaeological joint project on the site of Qurayyah, north-west Arabia: results of the first two excavation seasons. Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies, 48, 165–185. Retrieved from https://archaeopresspublishing.com/ojs/index.php/PSAS/article/view/1019

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