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New results to discuss possibility of irrigation in Bat (Wadi Sharsah, northwestern Oman) before Hafit period (ca. 3100-2700 BCE)

Abstract : Registered as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1989, the extensive archaeological site of Bat is situated within the Wadi Sharsah and around the modern village and palm grove of Bat, 24 km from the modern city of Ibri in northwestern Oman. The archaeological remains from the Bronze Age excavated by the Bat Archaeological Project are located in two mains areas. The northern area consists of a chain of low limestone hills cut by wadi tributaries leading to the main Wadi Sharsah. It is characterised by an exceptionnally high density of graves from two successive Bronze Age periods : Hafit (ca. 3100-2700 BCE) and Umm an-Nar (ca. 2700-2000 BCE). South of the Bat cemetery, in the flat part of the valley, there are several large circular structures (known historically as « towers ») and remains from both Hafit and Umm an-Nar periods, as well as later periods. Geomorphological mapping of the floodplain, associated with archaeological survey, have identified walls suggesting that during the Umm an-Nar period there was a system of irrigation which controlled flood water. Sedimentological, malacological, C14 dating and micromorphological studies of a 10 m long and 2.5 m high section located 143 m northeast of the Tower 1146 on the left bank of a small tributary of the Wadi Sharsah provide strong argument for the presence of an irrigation system that began before the Hafit period. New C14 datings confirm this hypothesis. Botanical macro-remains collected during the excavation of early Bronze Age structures at Bat further indicate the presence of date palm gardens since the 3rd millenium BCE allowing the cultivation of several crop species, in particular cereals. Most generally the global palaeoenvironmental reconstruction from our data supports a model of a general trend of aridification from Bronze Age to iron Age.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01358011
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Submitted on : Tuesday, August 30, 2016 - 5:50:36 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, December 2, 2021 - 3:49:41 AM

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  • HAL Id : hal-01358011, version 1

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Eric Fouache, Stéphane Desruelles, Eddargach Wassel, Cécilia Cammas, Julia Wattez, et al.. New results to discuss possibility of irrigation in Bat (Wadi Sharsah, northwestern Oman) before Hafit period (ca. 3100-2700 BCE). European Geosciences Union General Assembly, Apr 2014, Vienne, Austria. ⟨hal-01358011⟩

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