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The archaeological site of Sumhuram “Khor Rori”


The ancient city of Sumhuram, built in the area of Khor Rori, is the most important pre-Islamic settlement in the Dhofar region. Indeed, it was an outpost of the kingdom of Hadramawt, founded for commercial and economical reasons far from the capital Shabwa, along the Omani coast. In the 1950’s the city had been investigated by an American expedition (the American Foundation for the Study of the Man – AFSM) directed by W. Phillips and with the archaeologist F. Albright as field director. Since 1996 the Italian Mission to Oman (IMTO), directed by prof. A. Avanzini, has been working in the area of Khor Rori.


Archaeological research in the Iron Age fortified site of Salut


Salut is a fortified Iron Age settlement located at the foot of the western side of Al-Hajar mountains, 1 Km north of the modern town of Bisiyah. It is located inside a wide archaeological complex, where Iron Age remains coexist with those of Umm an-Nar period. The first surveys of the site were made by the Harvard Archaeological Survey in the Sultanate of Oman in 1973 and, later, in 1974-75, by the archaeologists of the British Archaeological Expedition. On March 2004 the Mission of the Pisa University (IMTO), started its explorations with a preliminary survey of the hill and the surrounding plain territory, followed by test soundings and campaigns of excavations to verify and to expose the structures.


Archaeological research at Inqitat


The Inqitat, a promontory of about 30 meters above sea level, is located in the area of Khor Rori (Dhofar), in the surrounding area of the South Arabian city of Sumhuram. Its top is characterized by two plateaus divided by a "valley". During the first years of the IMTO's work in the region, the site at hand was recurrently visited by surface surveys from 1996 to 1998 by Missione Italiana in Dhofar (MID) and again in 2006 by Italian Mission to Oman. The site is also mentioned and surveyed by Zarins. Also two archaeological excavations took place on the Inqitat by MID in 2000 and by IMTO in 2008. Since 2016 the Italian Mission to Oman, headed by A. Avanzini, in collaboration with the Office of the Adviser of His Majesty the Sultan for Cultural Affairs, has been working in the area of Inqitat with a program of excavation, material analysis and consolidation/musealization.

Along the aroma and spice routes

The port of Sumhuram and the trade between the Mediterranean, Arabia and India in pre-Islamic times


The scope of the project "Along the aroma and spice routes. The port of Sumhuram and the trade between the Mediterranean, Arabia and India in pre-Islamic times" is to reconstruct the history of the city, its palaeo-environment and the ancient trade routes that linked the Mediterranean with India by way of the Red Sea and the coasts of Arabia. It is a national project, funded by the Italian Ministry for University and Research (MIUR).

Virtual Museum of Sumhuram

Virtual Museum on exchanges between Rome and the Orient


The project named “Integrated Robotics Technologies and Virtual Environments in Archaeology” is funded by the Italian Ministry of University and Research (MIUR), within the FIRB programme. It inteds to create a virtual museum of the history of links and exchanges between Rome and the Orient.