Bronze Age Salūt (ST1) and the Indus Civilization: recent discoveries and new insights on regional interaction


  • Dennys Frenez
  • Michele Degli Esposti
  • Sophie Méry
  • Jonathan Mark Kenoyer


Oman, Indus Civilization, pottery, beads, seals


This study focuses on the nature of interactions and trade between the greater Indus Valley and eastern Arabia during the third millennium BC. The role of Indus trade in eastern Arabia has often been discussed in the general picture of local cultural and economic developments during the Bronze Age, but the organization and mechanism of this important phenomenon are not yet precisely decoded. New evidence from the stone tower ST1 excavated at Salūt, Sultanate of Oman, by the Italian Mission to Oman in collaboration with the Office of the Adviser to His Majesty the Sultan for Cultural Affairs, provided solid information for proposing updated models of transcultural economic interaction. The collection of Indus and Indus-related artefacts from ST1 testifies to an early integration of sites located in the interior of central Oman, within the network of long-distance connections that directly linked the Indus regions with the western shores of the Arabian Sea. The presence of a wide range of Indus pottery types, including utilitarian pottery and specific forms used for food production and presentation, suggests that some degree of cultural interaction occurred along with the expansion of trade. The discovery of Indus seals and carnelian beads possibly manufactured with non-Indus raw materials further supports the hypothesis that merchants and craftsmen from the Indus Valley were living and working in interior Oman during the second half of the third millennium BC. The evidence from ST1 also provides support for similar discoveries from other excavations in Oman and the UAE, suggesting that the interaction between Indus communities and eastern Arabia was much more extensive than previously thought.





How to Cite

Frenez, D., Degli Esposti, M., Méry, S., & Kenoyer, J. M. (2016). Bronze Age Salūt (ST1) and the Indus Civilization: recent discoveries and new insights on regional interaction. Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies, 46, 107–125. Retrieved from

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