Archaeological site of Bat-Oman, management and public perception: Community involvement in archaeological heritage management and planning

Naima Benkari*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to present the physical context of the necropolis of Bat, look at its management by the Omani Ministry of Heritage and Culture (MHC), and discusse the challenges it is facing. It will also shed light on how the site of Bat is perceived by the local community and visitors. Design/methodology/approach: The archaeological complex of Bat, al-Khutm, and al-Ayn was listed by the UNESCO as a world heritage site in 1988. Despite this classification, relatively little attention has been given to the management of this site. The author conducted interviews with representatives of the MHC in order to understand how this site is being managed, and the author uploaded an online public questionnaire to learn how the population is being educated about the importance of this heritage. Findings: The results of this investigation revealed a surprisingly high level of public awareness about the importance of this site to the country socially, and economically. In spite of this awareness, the site is not visited frequently because it is not adequately equipped: a situation that was clearly outlined by the respondents. Suggestions were proposed in order to better integrate this site into the local development plans and the socio-economic growth of the whole region. Originality/value: The originality of this research is that it took the site of investigation an archaeological site listed by the UNESCO for its outstanding universal value and contrary to what is expected, this site was “forgotten” in all development and management plans executed by the local and central government for almost two decades. It is also the first research about a site in Oman to address such issues and use these methods.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)293-308
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Cultural Heritage Management and Sustainable Development
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Aug 10 2018


  • Community participation
  • Cultural site management
  • Cultural tourism
  • Management of archaeological sites
  • Management of world heritage sites
  • Outstanding universal values

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Conservation
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • General Business,Management and Accounting
  • Urban Studies


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