A Late Iron Age Settlement in Mahleya, Oman

Nasser Al-Jahwari*

*Corresponding author for this work

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This paper presents the results of a survey and excavation carried out at a Late Iron Age/ Samad Period settlement situated on the western bank of Wadi Mahram, close to the village of Mahleya in the al-Mudhaybi region. The site was discovered and excavated in January 2004. The excavation proved to be very rewarding. Two stone structures were fully excavated, revealing the possible remains of a stone-and-mudbrick house. The two structures provide an indication of settlement organization, layout and economy during the Late Iron
Age/Samad Period. The results suggest this was an agricultural settlement, as evidenced from the recovery of a number of date stones, the remains of a falaj channel and recessed areas of land perhaps specified for agriculture. There is also evidence of trade and contact with the coast, as attested by the recovery of shells. It is possible that some sort of exchange network existed between the interior oasis settlement of Mahleya and various coastal settlements, whereby dates, cereals and animal products (e.g. milk, meat [perhaps dried], leather and fat) were exchanged for dried and salted fish and shells from the coast.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-100
Number of pages28
JournalJournal of Oman Studies
Publication statusPublished - 2011


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