Funerary building from Iron Age unearthed in Oman’s South Batinah Governorate

Muscat – Dating back three thousand years, the excavations unveiled a distinctive funerary building dedicated to the burial of children, marking an important turning point in understanding ancient funerary practices in Oman. This is the first funerary building dedicated to the burial of children discovered so far in the region.

Conducted by the Department of Antiquities in collaboration with a team from Sorbonne University in Paris and under the supervision of the Ministry of Heritage and Tourism, the excavations completed their first season last February. The excavations are expected to continue for the next five years.
The ‘Manaqi’ site, one of the largest Iron Age settlements in the region, yielded numerous residential buildings, cemeteries, and defense towers, indicating its central role during the first millennium BC.
Dr. Muhammad Abdul Hamid Hussein, head of the research team, emphasized the significance of the find, highlighting the discovery of artifacts such as baskets-handled jars and a rare pottery piece bearing a seal depicting two men. These findings, unprecedented in the Omani Peninsula, shed light on ancient funerary rituals and religious beliefs, providing valuable insights into the region’s cultural and social traditions during that era.

Following a preliminary study of the site carried out by the joint archaeological team, two buildings were selected for excavation during the first season – S1 and S2. Of particular interest was Building S2, characterized by a distinctive T-shaped geometric plan that was different from the rest of the buildings in the settlement.

Archaeological excavations within and around the building revealed over thirty graves of children, including newborns. This unique feature raises questions about the motives and beliefs that led to allocating a separate building for the burial of children in that era, contrary to the funerary customs common in the Iron Age.

Dr. Mohammed Abdul Hamid Hussein, head of the research team, emphasized the significance of the find, highlighting the discovery of artifacts such as basket-handled jars and a rare pottery piece bearing a seal depicting two men. These findings, unprecedented in the Omani Peninsula, shed light on ancient funerary rituals and religious beliefs, providing valuable insights into the region’s cultural and social traditions during that era.

The post Funerary building from Iron Age unearthed in Oman’s South Batinah Governorate appeared first on The Arabian Stories News.

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