Sites & cities that bear the name of Samad al-Shan

Samad al-Shan

Today in : Oman
First trace of activity : ca. 1st century B.C.E
Last trace of activity : ca. 4th century C.E

Description : Samad al-Shan (22°48'N; 58°09'E, altitude 565 m) is an archaeological site in the Sharqiyah province, Oman where Late Iron Age remains were first identified, hence the Samad Period or assemblage. Skeleton of a man with a sword and arrow-heads, Samad al-Shan, Sultanate of Oman, Samad Late Iron Age. This oasis is located 2 km east of the village of "al-Maysar" (since c. 1995 al-Moyassar). In 1976 a small part of site was discovered by British archaeological surveyors. The archaeologist Gerd Weisgerber began mapping in 1981. The excavation of this site (1981–82) by Burkhard Vogt, Gerd Weisgerber and Paul Yule, (1987–98) of the German Mining Museum, Bochum and later University of Heidelberg documented some 260 graves which span the Bronze Age to Late Iron Age, which are particular to the Sultanate of Oman. Samad is the type-site for the non-writing Late Iron Age of Central Oman in south-eastern Arabia. This cultural assemblage evidences occasional examples of protoscript in the form of characters scratched onto pottery vessels. In 2016 and 2018 Yule re-focussed the characterisation of the Samad assemblage and the ethno-linguistic identity of its population. The subterranean stone graves in Central Oman range from fairly simple to elaborate and up to 9 m in length (at Feg). Manfred Kunter first determined that biologically defined mature males usually are placed the right side and mature females on the left. The graves and grave goods of the deceased of both sexes range from low to high status (grave size, number and kind of grave equipment). Individuals with more robust skeletons (heavier bones and heavier muscle attachment marks) tend to have better graves and grave goods. More than twice as many men have graves than women, still fewer children's graves came to light. However, the children may have been buried in separate unexcavated parts of the cemeteries. If more men had better graves, then men probably also had during their lives, more property rights than did women. The graves of biological males contain weapons, especially arrow-heads, quiver remains and daggers, as opposed to biological women's grave in which weapons never occur. Both men and women wore beads. The local pottery is hand-made and imported glazed 'perfume bottles' and balsamaria are wheel-turned. Several soft stone bowls are lathe-turned. Some finds have not survived, especially organic ones and most objects in precious metal. Missing, but expected, are clothing, leather articles such as shoes, liquid containers and shields, arrow shafts, bows and woven basketry. In the after-life one would have need to draw water, but nothing of the sort has survived. A few of the grave goods are damaged, for whatever reason. Neither body painting nor tattooing survived. Who you are affects how you are buried and the individual bits that make up your identity get represented in various ways.

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