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Discovered the settlement of Salut

An impressive Iron Age settlement has been discovered in the surroundings of Salut in that last archaeological campaign


The monumental site of Salut had seemed to have no connection with a coeval settlement, although several remains dating back to the Iron Age have been identified in the surrounding plain.

The last excavation campaign (November-December 2015) has drastically changed this reality: the team of IMTO has preliminary brought to light a site, which seems to be the most impressive Iron Age settlement of the South Eastern Arabia.

The hill on which the "fortress" of Salut stands is occupied by a massive system of terraces, delimited and supported by walls, in turn made by squared, sometimes gigantic stones. The settlement, however, expands over the hill, in the surrounding plain: towards the East, where the limit has not yet been reached, and to the North, on the side which is surrounded by an imposing stone wall, only partially brought the light. The extension of the settlement is now estimated at about 170 x 150 meters.

Some stratigraphic surveys have allowed to verify the survival of intact archaeological contexts, among which a trapezoidal shaped room/building in the plain area East of the hill. The room/building has a central pillar and mud-brick floor, on which the bottom of a large storage jar is still fixed.

The materials date back the structures to the Iron Age (ca.1300-300 BC) and place them within the expansive phenomenon that marks this period, above all from the beginning of the first millennium BC. The presence of ceramics, that are placed in the last part of this time span, confirms the long lasting settlement that already had been observed for the "fortress" Salut.

The future excavations will allow further investigations of the daily life of the ancient communities settled in the heart of the Omani peninsula, of their productive activities, as well as the organization of the settlement and its relation with the surrounding environment. This was, indeed, already structured according to the model of the "oasis", that envisages the existence of the main centers of this area of ​​the Sultanate.

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