More on Masafi ancestors: the Late Bronze Age site of Masafi-5


  • Michele Degli Esposti
  • Anne Benoist


Late Bronze Age, south-east Arabia, pottery, Masafi, settlement layout


While the comprehensive work of the French Archaeological Mission in the UAE is revealing an extensive Iron Age occupation in the oasis of Masafi comprising several sites with different structures and functions, preliminary investigation of the site labelled Masafi-5 in 2011 indicated a possible different date. To test this hypothesis, part of the 2014 campaign focused on the excavation of the site, located on a small hillock at the southern limit of the modern palm grove. At Masafi-5 part of a terraced settlement was unearthed, bearing evidence of several internal rearrangements. An abundant ceramic assemblage was also collected, which confirmed the first impression that the site dates to a different period from the nearby ones (Masafi-1, -2, and -3). Pottery of possible local production differs significantly from the Iron Age assemblage known from Masafi and other south-east Arabian sites. Moreover, potsherds of Shimal type pottery were also well represented within the material, pointing to a Late Bronze Age date for the first occupation of Masafi-5, which can thus be discussed in the frame of the wider context.





How to Cite

Degli Esposti, M., & Benoist, A. (2015). More on Masafi ancestors: the Late Bronze Age site of Masafi-5. Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies, 45, 57–75. Retrieved from

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