Oman


Sinaw excavation finds links to India’s Indus Valley civilisation in Oman


Above, the tomb of the two millennium old site. Below, the burial chamber of a man in his 50’s, buried along with his personal arms.– Photos courtesy Ministry of Heritage and Culture

Muscat: Archeologists have unearthed a site near Sinaw that could reveal India's ancient Indus Valley civilisation's far reaching influence on the Omani society 2,300 years ago, according to officials of the Ministry of Heritage and Culture.

During an excavation, archaeologists have found the tomb of a man who was buried with sword and daggers made of iron and steel that are said to have first been invented in the Indus Valley civilisation. It has been scientifically proved that iron and steel arms were made in the Indus Valley civilisation first time ever.

Sultan Bensaif Al Bakri, director of Excavations and Archeological Studies of the Ministry of Heritage and Culture has said that this finding may prove the influence of the Indian civilisation on Oman during that period. However, he said that further studies would be carried out on this regard.

Al Bakri has said that a 2,300- year-old underground chamber was found during rescue excavations 22km south of Sinaw. This was the burial chamber of a man in his 50's, buried along with his personal arms. Near his grave, two male and female camels were also buried. They were slaughtered after the death of the man. The walls of the graves of these camels were erected with stones.

He said that the man was buried separately, on the right side of the camels' graves, with his 88cm sword in front of him. In addition, two daggers were tied on the right and left sides of his waist. A robe and woollen cap was also buried along with him. According to the descriptions provided by the archaeologists, the sword and daggers were made of iron and steel which was first made in the Indian civilisation from where it spread to the neighbouring civilisations, including Oman, said Al Bakri.

He said that the sword was kept in front of the man as the handle of the sword was facing him. Its handle was partly covered with textured ivory shaped like an eagle's beak. It is believed that the man was a chieftain of a tribe, as is evident from the sword and the robe. He was buried as his head was on a pillow and his hat was kept near his head. He was wearing leather shoes.

The Ministry of Heritage and Culture will restore these arms and will display these models in the proposed national museum scheduled to open at the end of this year.

This finding was made during a rescue excavation carried out by the Ministry of Heritage and Culture in coordination with the ministry of transport and communications that was working on the project of Sinaw-Mahout-Duqm road.

While digging, the Ministry of Transport and Communications found a graveyard spread across 100 sq m. This major archaeological finding was made when the ministry excavated 35 graves that came in the way of the proposed road. Archeologists have concluded that these graves were of two different periods. One is of third million BC while the second is of the first millennium BC, which included various tombs, potteries and utensils.

To get in touch with the reporter: faiz@timesofoman.com

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