Arabia and her Neighbours. Essays on Prehistorical and Historical Developments View publication
Since the discovery of prehistoric tombs on the island of Umm an-Nar in the 1950's, funerary monuments and mortuary rites of the ancient population of the Oman peninsula have been foci of archaeological research in the region. Literally hundreds of tombs have been excavated over the past four decades, but the fact that many of these had already been looted in antiquity and/or re-used often led excavators to adopt a slipshod approach to their recording. In 1995 an extraordinary tomb in Dubai was excavated with great care by a teamfrom the University of Sydney, setting new standards for the recording of grave goods and human skeletal remains. The discovery of bone pits outside the main structure which contained cremated remains raises a whole series of questions about the nature of the third millennium mortuary rites and the origins of the practice of cremation in the Arabian peninsula. Excavations at Al Sufouh is certain to be of great interest to archaeologists, biological anthropologists and historians concerned with the prehistoric population of the area known in Mesopotamian cuneiform sources as Magan. The interaction between that population and its Iranian and Harappan neighbours is explored in this detailed study.