Assessing Kalba: new fieldwork at a Bronze Age coastal site on the Gulf of Oman (Emirate of Sharjah, UAE)
Keywords:United Arab Emirates, Kalba, settlement, Bronze Age, communication and trade
Extended supra-regional networks reaching from the Aegean to the Indus region can be attested since the Early Bronze Age. In this context, due to its geostrategic location, the Arabian Peninsula offers optimal conditions for nodes of these networks and probably functioned as a mediator between the East and the West. New fieldwork conducted by the Sharjah Archaeology Authority (SAA) and the Institute for Oriental and European Archaeology (OREA) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (AAS) was therefore started at the settlement of Kalba, situated in the alluvial plain in the coastal region of the Gulf of Oman. Apart from occupation layers of the second and first millennia BC, Early Bronze Age structures have been attested during previous investigations. However, information about the dimensions of the site and its geomorphological situation are still lacking. Consequently, systematic investigations, starting with detailed topographical documentation and basic geophysical analyses, were performed. The results of these first topographical and geophysical analyses of the site of Kalba have been used to conduct a small-scale excavation with the aim of providing more information on the Early Bronze Age occupation of the site. Finally, the new insights should offer the potential to assess the settlement’s function as well as its position on the north-eastern Arabian Peninsula and, moreover, within the framework of third-millennium BC trading networks.
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