Building H at Mleiha: new evidence of the late pre-Islamic period D phase (PIR.D) in the Oman peninsula (second to mid-third century AD)
Excavations carried out at Mleiha (Mulayha) (Sharjah) from 1986 to 2000 have provided a chronological and cultural frame for the study of the late pre-Islamic period (PIR) in the Oman peninsula. A new field project of the French Expedition in 2010-2011 focuses on the process of abandonment of the site in the third century AD. The results of two seasons of work on a fortified residence in area H reveal the violence of the events that caused the sudden abandonment of Mleiha. The archaeological documentation found in the destruction layers of the building brings some chronological accuracy. Luxury goods are evidence of the wealth of its inhabitants and their integration with long-distance trade networks; the relation with the Indo-Pakistani area is particularly relevant. A large quantity of wooden construction elements as well as objects, seeds, fruits, fibres, and textiles have been preserved by carbonization as a result of the fire that destroyed the residence. They constitute one of the richest archaeological plant collections so far discovered in the Oman peninsula and allow us to reconstruct, together with the study of the faunal remains, various aspects of the subsistence strategy.
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Archaeopress Publishing, Oxford, UK