Salut, Sept 17 - Participants attending the ICOMOS (International Council of Monuments and Archaeological Sites) workshop visited the Salut Castle Archaeological Park on Tuesday on gauge the Sultanate’s commitment to its priceless natural heritage. The Supervisor of the Salut Archaeological Museum and Park project, Walid bin Sultan al Muzaini, welcomed the dignitaries with a tour of the site, indicating key archaeological ‘finds,’ such as a “completely restored tomb, a bronze age tower and hilltop tombs, and also revealed that the site is seen as three distinct areas, Salut 1, 2 and 3.” The remains of the ancient aflaj system, rock inscriptions, pottery and artifacts provide incontrovertible proof of the park’s links to some of the earliest civilisations known to mankind.
Dr Christopher Young, from the United Kingdom, explained the purpose of his second visit to the Sultanate, was to, “give advice and guidance for the nomination documentation, which is his particular area of expertise, having been a leading light in the prestigious English Heritage institution, and worked extensively with the World Heritage Centre.”
His priorities as he sees them, are to “contribute as part of the group, towards the achievement of more practical processes and explanations on the application of the Salalah (2015) guidelines, the framework for managing large archaeological sites such as this one at Salut.”
“Of course,” he remarked, “we need to be mindful of each site’s special circumstances, but in real terms, the organisational and conservation requirements and challenges would be the same everywhere, with similar general processes.”
He also commented that there was a significant amount of archaeological work happening, and a great deal of conservation work, in progress, and he would “follow the project with interest.”
Abdulaziz bin Mohammed al Rowas, Adviser to His Majesty the Sultan for Cultural Affairs, cheerfully reminded delegates and dignitaries of the historical links Salut has to the Prophet Sulayman and his followers, all those many centuries ago, and of their many trials and tribulations, as mentioned in the Holy Quran: Sura 34, Verse 12. However most positively, his guidance towards the inhabitants of the region, and his insistence that they should, “live their lives in the right way, the way of light, and peace, and this is where the Omani personality and character came from all those years ago, and they still hold true even until today.”
The conference continues with two ‘Round Table’ sessions, the first on the ‘Impact of Tourism and the Environment,’ chaired by Dr Miechtild Rossier, in the morning, and an afternoon discussion chaired by Princess Dana Firas, on ‘Community Participation and the Use of Modern Technology for Conservation.’ The workshop concludes on Thursday.