Nothing but tombs and towers? Results of the Al-Mudhaybi Regional Survey 2019


  • Stephanie Döpper Johann Wolfgang Goethe University Frankfurt am Main
  • Conrad Schmidt


Survey, Remote Sensing, Settlement System, Sultanate of Oman, Bronze Age


Sites with towers in eastern Arabia have been interpreted as regional centres of the Early Bronze Age. One of those sites is Al-Khashbah in central Oman. Until now, however, nothing was known about its hinterland that would support the idea of a regional centre. The Al-Mudhaybi Regional Survey was therefore initiated in order, for the first time, to provide comprehensive and detailed knowledge of this third-millennium BC landscape. This paper presents the results of the remote sensing and ground truthing of potential features in the 2019 field season. Nearly 4000 archaeological structures ranging from the Neolithic to the modern era have been positively identified. Interestingly, some periods such as the Hafit and Wadi Suq were abundantly present, while the Umm an-Nar and Late Bronze Age were almost totally missing. It is also important to note that, except for the possible Hafit-period tower at Al-Fath, no Bronze Age settlement sites were found. The reasons behind this pattern remain to be discovered.


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How to Cite

Döpper, S., & Schmidt, C. (2020). Nothing but tombs and towers? Results of the Al-Mudhaybi Regional Survey 2019. Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies, 50(1), 157–169. Retrieved from

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