Hafit tombs and the development of Early Bronze Age social hierarchy in al-Batinah, Oman (poster)
Keywords:Hafit tombs, Early Bronze Age, late Hafit, al-Batinah, society
This paper presents an observation made during fieldwork undertaken at three apparently late Hafit cemeteries as part of the Rustaq /al-Batinah Archaeological Survey and PhD research based at Durham University. Hafit tombs were recorded on the ground at Ḥalbān, Wādī al-Ḥawqayn, and al-Ḥamiḍ in the Batinah region of Oman. The preliminary ground survey consisted of taking GPS coordinates for each structure, photographing and describing the tombs, and measuring their basic dimensions. In some cases low-level kite photographs were also taken. At each of the sites the same pattern was observed: one structure is of extremely large proportions — the biggest Hafit tombs yet recorded in Oman — while the rest are of a much more modest scale, fairly typical of late Hafit funerary structures across the region. The tomb architecture at these sites may testify to the emergence of a social hierarchy within the later Hafit period in al-Batinah, a suggestion contrasting with traditional interpretations of Hafit society as egalitarian. This evidence is so far unique and merits wider discussion and investigation.
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Archaeopress Publishing, Oxford, UK