The Arabian Gulf in Antiquity - Vol. 1

The Arabian Gulf in Antiquity - Vol. 1

The Arabian Gulf in Antiquity - Vol. 1

The Arabian Gulf in Antiquity - Vol. 1

Synopsis

The Arabian Gulf has become in recent years one of the most promising new areas of research in ancient near-eastern archaeology. Until now, however, no attempt has been made to synthesize the archaeology and history of this region from the beginnings of human settlement to the rise of Islam. This magisterial two-volume work draws on a wide array of archaeological, epigraphic, and literary sources to present the first comprehensive study of the area. Volume I covers the Pleistocene to the Achaemenian period, including almost all the published evidence for the prehistory and history of the Arabian Gulf. Volume II covers the period from Alexander the Great to the coming of Islam, including full discussion of the history of Christianity in the area. Both volumes are illustrated with numerous line drawings and plates.

Excerpt

The late third millennium in the Arabian Gulf has been studied intensively in recent years, but equal coverage has not been given to all parts of the region. At present most of our information comes from the Oman peninsula. To a lesser extent, finds from Bahrain and eastern Saudi Arabia can also be assigned to this time-range, but Qatar and Kuwait, on the other hand, have produced virtually no material of comparable date. in the previous chapter considerable space was devoted to a discussion of Dilmun. Although Dilmun will continue to figure in subsequent chapters, it is the land known in Sumerian as Magan, in Akkadian as Makkan, that now comes to the fore. Let us begin, however, with a discussion of the archaeological finds from the Oman peninsula.

The Umm an-Nar Period

The period from c.2500 to c.2000 bc is known in the Oman peninsula as the Umm an-Nar period. the name of this period is taken from that of a small island off the coast of Abu Dhabi, now the site of the emirate's major oil-refining complex. Here excavations carried out by Danish archaeologists between 1959 and 1965 provided the first glimpse of late third-millennium life in what was then a completely unknown region, archaeologically speaking. Since that time Danish, French, Iraqi, British, American, Italian, German, and local uae expeditions have worked at a number of Umm an-Nar-period sites, thereby enriching our appreciation of this important phase in the prehistory of the Oman peninsula.

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