Rocks give peek into life in ancient times

YAHYA AL SALMANI –

Many sites across the Sultanate are home to ancient archaeological treasures. The Wilayat of Jaalan Bani Bu Hassan, located about 277 km from Muscat, is no different.
This town has many watchtowers, old fortified houses, forts and ancient plantation walls.

Locals have found rock drawings done using the ‘Pecking Technique’. It involves shaping or producing a design on stone by hammering. The surface is crushed, usually with a stone hammer, and the dusty fragments are swept aside.

These drawings, described as ‘cultural symbols’, can be seen in many rocks and limestones. The painted rocks have animal and bird shapes that reflect the species of wildlife existing in the area: ibex, horses and camels.
Some painted rocks also document the ancient lifestyle of humans.
In the southern part of Jabal Qahwan and specifically in Wadi al Batha, there are many ‘cumulus tombs’. Built with coarse limestone and gravel, some 40 tombs dating back to the Islamic era still exist in Wadi al Qutin.
A total of 20 tombs can be seen in Wadi al Khatim, which is located just beside the old road leading to the Wilayat of Sur, said some locals. A majority of these sites were affected by encroachments.
Stone slabs found at Al Ghamlool are locally referred to as Al Jadrah. These are circular- and oval-shaped buildings.
Locals want the authorities to protect these sites by fencing them.