The Thāj Archaeological Project: results of the first field season


  • Jérôme Rohmer
  • Ahmad al-Jallad
  • Mahmud al-Hajiri
  • Rozan Alkhatib Alkontar
  • Tara Beuzen-Waller
  • Paul Calou
  • Damien Gazagne
  • Kosmas Pavlopoulos


Thāj, archaeology of eastern Arabia and the Gulf, ‘Hellenistic’/late pre-Islamic period, fortifications, Hasaitic


Located 90 km inland from the Gulf coast, west of modern al-Jubayl, Thāj is the largest ancient site known in eastern Arabia. It was a major hub of long-distance trade in the 'Hellenistic' period and in the first centuries AD. It has been known to Western scholarship since the beginning of the twentieth century, but only limited surveys and excavations have been carried out at the site so far. In 2016, an international archaeological project led by the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH), the CNRS (France), and Leiden University (Netherlands) was launched in order to conduct a comprehensive archaeological exploration of the site, including large-scale excavations and a wide array of specialized studies. This paper presents the results of the first field season of this project, which took place in October-November 2016. These first results already shed new light on the ancient environment, layout, chronology, and material culture of Thāj.


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How to Cite

Rohmer, J., al-Jallad, A., al-Hajiri, M., Alkontar, R. A., Beuzen-Waller, T., Calou, P., … Pavlopoulos, K. (2018). The Thāj Archaeological Project: results of the first field season. Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies, 48, 287–303. Retrieved from

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