Publication details

First Assessment of The Research Potential of The Prehistoric Intermountain Site Hayl Al Ajah in The Al Hajar Mountains of Northern Oman (Project SIPO)



Year of publication 2020
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source The Journal of Oman Studies
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Keywords Al Hajar Mountains; Lithics; Karstic Polje; Late Pleistocene; Middle Holocene
Attached files
Description This contribution presents preliminary results of a first archaeological assessment of an elevated palaeohydrological feature in the central part of the Al Hajar Mountains (Al-Jabal Al-Akhdar). The 2018 Test Season at the karstic polje Hayl Al Ajah yielded the first direct evidence of a prehistoric occupation of intermountain places in Northern Oman as high as 1000 m a.s.l. The deflated and sediment-embedded lithics found are techno-typologically dated to the Late Pleistocene and Middle Holocene, i.e. periods with longer arid phases. The evidence of a human presence at high-elevation places earlier than formerly thought, raises the question what role the sediment-filled depressions in elevated position in the Al-Jabal Al-Akhdar could have played during prehistoric times. The Project SIPO of Masaryk University (Brno, Czech Republic) will inquire when the utilization at the polje Hayl Al Ajah (1012 m a.s.l.) started and if some prehistoric groups could have held out in the interior of Oman during aridization phases, in refugia, by means of a long-term mountain adaption. The deep, layered sediment available at the site (polje fill) is a potential geo-archive suited for palaeoclimatic and palaeoenvironmental reconstruction. Together with the archaeological traces encountered the circumstances justify further systematic research at this intermountain site.

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