Archaeological legislation in the Sultanate of Oman

Mohammed Ali K. Al-Belushi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


This paper reviews legislation relating to the safeguarding and management of Oman's diverse archaeological resource. It focuses on the National Heritage Protection Law (NHPL), other national legislation and regulations, and international conventions signed by the Omani Government. It also discusses the extent to which these existing legislative tools support the management of the nation's archaeological resource and the socio-economic changes that are taking place in the country. The paper also examines whether the legislation in place is apt for purposes of identification, management, conservation, research and for development planning needs. Certain concerns are raised. For example, the NHPL has not been amended since it was issued in 1980 and the issue of archaeology protection is absent from related national laws, especially those covering activities related to the environment, municipalities, mining and tourism. What also emerges is that current legislation has not fully been implemented by the relevant organisations, which consequently has negatively affected Oman's archaeological resource management. Finally, the paper proposes the evaluation of all the legislative tools that govern archaeological practice in Oman. It also urges an updating of the NHPL in accordance with new theoretical and practical changes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36-53
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Heritage Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Archaeological resource management
  • Archaeology
  • Legislation
  • NHPL
  • Oman

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Conservation
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
  • Museology


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