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Archaeological Sites of Bat, Al-Khutm and Al-Ayn

Archaeological Sites of Bat, Al-Khutm and Al-Ayn

The protohistoric site of Bat lies near a palm grove in the interior of the Sultanate of Oman. Together with the neighbouring sites, it forms the most complete collection of settlements and necropolises from the 3rd millennium B.C. in the world.

Sites archéologiques de Bat, Al-Khutm et Al-Ayn

Le site protohistorique de Bat, au voisinage d'une palmeraie de l'intérieur du sultanat d'Oman, constitue avec ses sites annexes l'ensemble le plus complet de zones d'habitat et de nécropoles du IIIe millénaire av. J.-C.

المواقع التاريخية في بات والخطم والعين

يشكّل موقع بات الذي يعود إلى عصور ما قبل الكتابة والمجاور لبستان النخل داخل سلطنة عمان، مع المواقع المرتبطة به، المجموعة الأكثر كمالاً في مناطق السكن والمقابر الكبيرة في الألفية الثالثة ق.م.

source: UNESCO/ERI



source: UNESCO/ERI

Археологические памятники Бат, Эль-Хутм и Эль-Айн

Доисторические памятники Бата расположены рядом с пальмовой рощей во внутренней части султаната Оман. Вместе с близко расположенными памятниками они образуют наиболее целостный, из всех существующих в мире, комплекс поселений и некрополей 3-го тысячелетия до н.э.

source: UNESCO/ERI

Sitios arqueológicos de Bat, Al Khutm y Al Ayn

Cercano a un palmeral situado en el interior del sultanato de Omán, el sitio protohistórico de Bat y los sitios arqueológicos vecinos constituyen el conjunto más completo del mundo de asentamientos humanos y necrópolis del tercer milenio antes de nuestra era.

source: UNESCO/ERI


source: NFUAJ

Archeologische steden Bat, Al-Khutm en Al-Ayn

De protohistorische site Bat ligt in de buurt van een palmentuin in het binnenland van het Sultanaat van Oman. Samen met de naburige plaatsen vormt de plek de meest complete verzameling nederzettingen en begraafplaatsen ter wereld uit het 3e millennium voor Christus. De necropolis van Bat bevindt zich op een begrensde en coherente plek en toont karakteristieke en unieke eigenschappen van de evolutie van begrafenispraktijken tijdens de eerste bronstijd op het schiereiland van Oman. Er zijn twee archeologische vindplaatsen: de toren van Al-Khutm, 2 kilometer ten westen van Bat en de groep graftombes van Qubur Juhhal in Al-Ayn, 22 kilometer ten zuidoosten van Bat.

Source: unesco.nl

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Long Description

The zone encompassing the settlement and necropolises of Bat is the most complete and best-known site of the 3rd millennium BC. In a restricted, coherent space, the necropolis of Bat bears characteristic and unique witness to the evolution of funeral practices during the first Bronze Age in the Oman peninsula.

Historical sources recuount that the country of Magan was the principal extraction centre for copper, which was exported even to far-away Mesopotamia, as early as about 3000 BC. The appearance of a more strictly hierarchical social organization (as attested to both in the settlements, where circular defensive structures contrast with rectangular houses, and in the necropolises, where the arrangement of funerary space is more complex) goes hand in hand with higher living standards and social changes linked to a trade economy.

The protohistoric site extends north of the village and palm grove of Bat, when excavation began in 1972; it includes a settlement and a necropolis from the 3rd millennium BC. In the settlement zone, north of the confluence of a small waterway and Wadi al Hijr, there are five stone 'towers', structures that are very representative of the first Bronze Age in the Oman peninsula. One of the towers has been entirely excavated and it has been determined that it was built between 2595 BC and 2465 BC. At the level of the substructures, the plan of the tower features a series of exterior surface projections and two rows of parallel rooms on either side of a large platform in masonry with a well in the centre.

From the tower, which serves as the site's reference point, can be distinguished immediately to the east on the slope a series of rectangular houses with central courts and, to the north, a vast necropolis that can be divided into two distinct groups. The first group is located at the top of the rocky slope. Its drystone tombs (some of which date from the 4th millennium, although in some cases they may have subsequently been modified) are scattered along the path from Bat to Al Wahrah.

The much more densely concentrated second group extends over rice terraces south-east of the wadi and includes more than 100 drystone 'beehive' tombs, which tend to be organized according to an overall plan. The most ancient ones are to the north. They have only one entrance and one funerary chamber and were a collective burial place for a small number of dead. Towards the south, the sepulchres become more monumental. They have two entrances which open on to two and sometimes four funerary chambers and were intended for larger numbers of dead.

The settlement and necropolis zones of Bat form a coherent and representative group with two neighbouring contemporary archaeological sites: the tower of Al-Khutm, 2 km west of Bat, and the group of beehive tombs of Qubur Juhhal at Al-Ayn, 22 km east-south-east of Bat. The 21 tombs from the 3rd millennium, aligned on a rocky crest that stands out in the superb mountainous landscape of Jebel Misht to the north, are in a remarkable state of preservation. They have not been excavated and constitute an obviously interesting archaeological reserve.