An ancient settlement dating back to 2,500 to 2,000 BC has been discovered in the town of Al Ghareen in Niyabat of Samad Al Shan in the Wilayat of Al Mudhaibi, North Al Sharqiyah Governorate. Preliminary excavations by the Ministry of Heritage and Culture and the Sultan Qaboos University (SQU) reveal the civilisation had commercial links with the Dilmun, Sindh, Mesopotamia and Iranian civilisations. According to Dr Khalid Ahmed Daghlash, Head of the Archaeology Department at SQU, the excavation revealed the presence of a large settlement of at least 50 buildings, besides a large building that represents a distinctive architectural feature of ancient Oman civilisation.
The estimated diameter of the building is 20-25 metres and its height 4-6 metres, while the building is built from stones. The wall is more than two metres wide. He said the tower, during certain period, was exposed to demolition and vandalism, after which the inhabitants abandoned the place. The SQU’s Archaeology Department began excavations in 2004-2005. It is currently working with the ministry to study the site to trace its history. — ONA