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30 December 2012
2000 BCE cemetery unearhted in Oman

A discovery of graves by Royal Oman Police (ROP) while digging for the new border check post in the Aswad area of the province of Shinas in northern Oman has led archaeologists to the discovery of a settlement dating back to 2000 BCE, according to a senior archaeologist at the Ministry of Heritage and Culture.
     "The check post will be built at the spot but the archaeology site will be protected," Sultan Al Bakri, Director of Antiquity Department at the Ministry, said. Omani archaeologists, some of them Sultan Qaboos University (SQU) graduates and some trained by the ministry, began working on the site. "The team has unearthed a settlement and an archaeological cemetery that dates back to 2000 BCE, which is also called the Wadi Souq period," the ministry official said referring to a period between 1900 BCE and 1100 BCE.
     The excavation revealed a number of tombs of the Wadi Souq period. "The oval, rectangular tombs look like the letter 'U'," the official added. The tombs include body remains, arrow heads, daggers, knives, needles, brass necklaces, local and imported beads from neighbouring cultures, clay utensils and soapstone.
     The ministry official said that the team had completed the work on a site that spans over three kilometres and next season further surveys will be carried out to see if there are similar sites around the area.
     Al Bakri said that this was the second such discovery of a 2000 BCE site in northern Oman. "These discoveries further establishes proof of northern Oman being a vital copper trade link during the bronze age between the Harappa civilisation, Bahrain's Delmon civilisation and Iran's civilisation in Mesopotamia," the senior archaeologist said.

Edited from Times of Oman (29 December 2012), Gulf News (30 December 2012)

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