First discoveries of the Bāt/al-Arid mission (Sultanate of Oman)
Keywords:Early Bronze Age Oman, Towers, tombs, irrigation, settlement
During the winter of 2019 the French Archaeological Mission at Bāt and al-Arid (MBA) conducted a first season of investigations jointly on both sites of Bāt and al-Arid (15 km north-west of Bāt), in central Oman. This article aims to present the first results obtained during the 2019 fieldwork: a micro-regional study of the site and first excavations of al-Arid, and new records from the necropolis of Bāt. The site of al-Arid is a promising new Bronze Age site in the area of Ibri. It contains five, probably six, Umm an-Nar towers, an Early Bronze Age necropolis, a Bronze Age settlement dated to the second part of the third millennium BC, and an irrigation channel that might be related to the Bronze Age complex. The al-Arid site is very interesting and significant for understanding the territory of Bāt, today exposed to rapid urbanization. It documents the remains of an elaborate settlement occupied on a recurrent, if not permanent, basis during the Early Bronze Age, which has never been excavated before. The first results presented here indicate the great archaeological potential of the al-Arid site, and its potential for a better understanding of the emergence of socio-economic complexity in central Oman.
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