Qumayrah Valley

Qumayrah Valley

Qumayrah–Ayn
Wadi al-Fajj
Ayn Bani Saida
  • Project name:

    Omani-Polish Archaeological Mission – the Qumayrah Valley Project

  • Type of site:

    During a preliminary survey in the Qumayrah Valley, several dozen archaeological sites of various date, from the Stone Age to the modern period, have been recorded. Archaeological exploration focused initially on three of them:
    QA 1: burial site of the Umm an-Nar culture
    QA 2: Neolithic campsite
    QA 3: Bronze and Iron Age settlement, Late Islamic village

    Location:

    Northern Oman
    Hajar Mountains
    Az-Zahira Governorate, Wilayah of Dank

History of research:

Dates of PCMA mission’s work:

2015–

Type of research:

Survey, excavations

Directors:

Project director: Piotr Bieliński, Polish Centre of Mediterranean Archaeology, University of Warsaw
Sub-projects directors:
– Bronze Age settlement – Piotr Bieliński, PCMA UW
– Iron Age settlement – Agnieszka Pieńkowska, PCMA UW
– Bronze Age burial sites – Łukasz Rutkowski, PCMA UW
– Prehistory of the Qumayrah Valley – Marcin Białowarczuk, Institute of Archaeology, University of Warsaw

Co-operating institutions:

– Polish Centre of Mediterranean Archaeology, University of Warsaw
– Ministry of National Heritage and Culture, Sultanate of Oman

Additional information:

In February 2019, the National Science Centre of Poland awarded Prof. Piotr Bieliński financing for a project proposal submitted by the Polish Centre of Mediterranean Archaeology, University of Warsaw (“Harmonia 10”): “The development of settlement in the mountains of northern Oman in the Bronze and Iron Ages” (2018/30/M/HS3/00635).

Description of the sites and research

The area of the concession encompasses archaeological remains located along a more-than-10-km-long, L-shaped hollow between massifs forming part of the Jebel Hajar mountain range. The micro-region is called Qumayrah after a village which lies at the junction of two mountain valleys. On the edges of the concession area, there are smaller settlements: Al-Ayn Bani Saidah (in the south) and Bilt (in the east).

A short archaeological survey conducted in the autumn of 2015 resulted in a preliminary inventory of the area. The recorded archaeological sites differed in date (from the Stone Age to the Islamic period) and type (prehistoric campsites, burial sites, settlements and tower structures). All these types of sites are present in the close vicinity of the Al-Ayn Bani Saidah village.

A comprehensive study of such diverse remains required the carrying out of several sub-projects dedicated to particular issues. In 2016, excavations associated with different research clusters began at three sites in the vicinity of the Al-Ayn Bani Saidah village: Early Bronze Age burial site (QA 1), Neolithic campsite (QA 2), as well as Bronze and Iron Age settlement (QA 3). A survey of the valley was also continued.

Other resources about the mission:

Gallery:

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