Tuesday, April 16, 2024 | Shawwal 6, 1445 H
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Yenkit archaeological site stores valuable evidences of Oman’s past

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Muscat: Along the road leading to the village of Yenkit, 40 km south of Muscat, a large sign indicating the presence of an important archaeological site attracts visitors. The remains here are valuable and the Ministry of Heritage and Tourism stresses the need not to touch or tamper with this archaeological site.

On this site, there are many ancient graves, most of which are oval. All these graves are on the southern side, very close to one of the mountainous plateaus that surround the village. Although only ruins of the graves remain due to exposure to elements their shapes have a distinguished presence.

“The site has several ancient graves, and there is no academic study on this archaeological site. Thus, it is not possible to guess about the real or approximate age of these graves. Study is required to obtain data and new information to enrich the country’s geological library,” said a citizen who keeps interest in heritage.

“The ministry has been keen to fence off this important archaeological site, but part of this wall has collapsed due to the lack of adherence by tourists to the requirements of preserving it, so it is now easy to access this site without obtaining a prior official permit. We hope that these sites will receive more attention from the authorities in the future. By this, we could preserve and promote our ancient heritage in a proper way," he added.

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The location of these graves on the main road leading to this village contributes to daily visits by tourists. Tourists go to the Yenkit to practice water sports and relax on its attractive beaches.

Studies indicate that the first archaeological surveys in the Sultanate of Oman began in the early fifties of the last century. The scientific missions excavated various sites in search of evidence from the third millennium BC. The country got several archaeological evidences based on chronicles and books of travellers such as Ibn Battuta, Bertram Thomas, Marco Polo and others.

Archaeological discoveries reached climax after the establishment of the Ministry of National Heritage and Culture (previously) in 1976, when research, excavation and study operations were organised in coordination with specialised universities and scientific institutions in many countries of the world.

All studies and research surveys resulted in finding archaeological sites in the Governorate of Muscat, including Al Madam in the Wilayat of Al Amerat. It was discovered in 2021, and it is likely that the establishment of this site dates back to the late Islamic period of the sixteenth century AD. There are also a number of sites in the Wilayat of Qurayat (80 km from Muscat) that contain rock inscriptions, indicating that the site was a crossing point for commercial caravans. This is in addition to the presence of archaeological sites in ‘Al Qurum’ area dating back to 4000 BC.

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