Dozens of prehistoric skeletons were discovered in a 7,000-year-old tomb located in Oman
By: April Carson
In Oman, on the Arabian Peninsula, a stone tomb has been unearthed by archaeologists with the remains of multiple individuals dating back 7,000 years. These significant findings shed light on ancient burial practices and provide valuable insight into the history of early man. The tomb is believed to have belonged to a nomadic hunter-gatherer tribe, and it displays an advanced knowledge of architecture and engineering that was quite uncommon during this period in history.
Located in Oman's Al Wusta province, near Nafūn, one of the oldest human-made structures in the area has been discovered. Surrounded by a stony desert, this ancient burial site is situated near the coast.
According to Alžběta Danielisová, an archaeologist at the Institute of Archaeology in Prague, there are no known Bronze Age or older graves in this region. Hence, the discovery of this particular grave is exceptionally distinct and unparalleled.
Under the leadership of Danielisová, the Czech Academy of Sciences is conducting excavations at an ancient tomb discovered a decade ago through satellite imagery. Believed to be from a period between 5000 B.C. and 4600 B.C., this archaeological find promises a fascinating glimpse into ancient history.
Unknown as ashlars, feature two circular burial chambers divided into individual compartments, according to a project report. Although an ashlar roof spans the entirety of the tomb, it has suffered partial collapse, likely due to annual monsoon rains.
The discovery of "bone clusters" in the burial chambers reveals a unique burial practice where the dead were allowed to decompose before being laid to rest. Interestingly, their skulls were intentionally positioned near the outer wall, while their longer bones pointed toward the center of the chamber. Carbon dating conducted on samples taken from the remains suggests that the people buried in the tomb have been there for approximately 7,000 years. Among the findings were the remains of men, women, and children, including infants, indicating that this tomb was used for multiple generations of families.
Archaeologists discovered remains in a smaller tomb beside the primary tomb. It's hypothesized that this tomb was built later. Distinct differences in burial ritual timing were noted by Danielisová and in nearby graves, three Samad culture individuals were identified, lived several millennia later.
To gain a deeper understanding of the individuals buried in the tomb, anthropological and biochemical assessments, such as isotope analysis, will be conducted. This will reveal insights into their diets, mobility, and demographics. The team is also searching for an ancient settlement nearby, which could provide additional clues about the lives of those interred.
One of Oman's many archaeological endeavors, the tomb's development is overseen by Czech scientists. This project, and others like it, are helping to uncover Oman's history and culture. The findings can provide a greater understanding of the region's past and its people. By sharing this information with the world, they hope to preserve Oman's legacy for future generations.
As per a report from the CAS (Chinese Academy of Sciences), an expedition in southern Oman's Dhofar province has unearthed a stone hand ax that could potentially date back to the earliest human migrations out of Africa - a period spanning from 300,000 to 1.3 million years ago. The discovery is significant and sheds light on the mysteries of early human evolution.
Scientists are utilizing advanced dating techniques from the Nuclear Physics Institute of the CAS to gain deeper insights into the ancient civilizations of Oman. This information has been confirmed by Roman Garba, an esteemed archaeologist and physicist within the CAS organization. These same techniques will also be employed to unravel the mysteries surrounding the perplexing 2,000-year-old stone "triliths" that have fascinated scientists for centuries.
Despite their small size (under 1 meter), the triliths constructed during the Iron Age have been compared to England's iconic Stonehenge in recent news reports. The stone pillars are believed to have provided a sacred space for ritual and worship, with some hypothesizing that the triliths were built as part of an astronomical calendar. Uncovering the purpose behind these mysterious structures could provide invaluable insight into Iron Age cultures in Oman.
While delving into the tomb, the archaeologists are concurrently researching the rock inscriptions nearby. Despite being created many years after the tomb, these inscriptions captivate the team with a mix of images and possible names and phrases. The exact meaning remains elusive, but the investigation continues with fervor.
According to archaeologist Melissa Kennedy at The University of Western Australia, the recent discoveries are captivating. These findings are critical to our understanding of Neolithic society across the Arabian Peninsula.
Although Kennedy wasn't a part of the recent Oman expeditions, her expertise lies in the study of "mustatils" - massive stone structures found in neighboring Saudi Arabia that date back to the same time period. Her team's research has unveiled similar burial sites holding the remains of multiple individuals, implying that territorial marking has been a practice since ancient times.
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April Carson is the daughter of Billy Carson. She received her bachelor's degree in Social Sciences from Jacksonville University, where she was also on the Women's Basketball team. She now has a successful clothing company that specializes in organic baby clothes and other items. Take a look at their most popular fall fashions on bossbabymav.com
To read more of April's blogs, check out her website! She publishes new blogs on a daily basis, including the most helpful mommy advice and baby care tips! Follow on IG @bossbabymav
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