The Late Iron Age of central Oman (c.300 BC–AD 300) — new insights from Salūt
Keywords:Late Iron Age Oman, south-east Arabia chronology, painted ware, Pré-Islamique Récente, Samad
Ongoing investigations by the Italian Mission to Oman at the Iron Age site of Salūt are revealing the extension and complex articulation of the settlement (Qaryat Salūt), which surrounded the fortified place (Ḥiṣn Salūt) previously excavated by the same team. Although the heyday of the site can be dated to the local Early Iron Age (1300–300 BC), several pieces of evidence, which have similarities with the Late Iron Age Samad pottery, point to a continuation of its occupation beyond this period. In late 2017, the discovery of a few sherds of Fine Painted Ware, similar to those known from the Late Iron Age Pré-Islamique Récente (LIAPIR) sites in the northern Oman peninsula, such as Mleiha and Ed-Dur, provided significant evidence for an even longer extension of the site’s occupation, whose chronology will be discussed again in this paper. This is the first time such pottery has been found in residential contexts in central Oman and is also quite a distance away from where such pottery is most commonly found. This discovery therefore offers the possibility to ask new questions regarding the chronology of the transition from the Early to the Late Iron Age in the central Oman peninsula, where continuous stratigraphic sequences bridging the two periods have so far been unknown.
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Archaeopress Publishing, Oxford, UK